Saturday, September 25, 2010

UNFINISHED HOUSE

In Psalm 127 it says, Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.

This psalm goes on a little further to say, It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors: For He gives to his beloved even in his sleep.

This verse always speaks powerfully to me when I read it. Either it encourages me to be confident that the work I'm involved in is His will.

Or, like today, it makes me stop and think and pray---is the work that I sit at with my laptop for 8 to 10 hours a day really His will? Or am I 'building a house' He does not want?

Anyone who reads my blog knows I love to write. I'm willing to put in the long, long hours, the months, the years to hone my craft. It's been about 8 years of seriously pursuing a ministry/career in writing, with a great many sacrifices along the way.

In talking to other Christian authors, this is the norm. It's also common that once an author is published, the money they make is a pittance. There's certainly no job security. When one is published, the author is only as good as her last book. And the pressure to market yourself and your book takes you away from the labor to produce another.

Yet, with all artists, the desire for wealth and fame is meaningless. It's the art that pulls on their hearts---the desire to use that art to glorify God. It's this that gives them the urge to give and give and give to this labor.

I see this in my son---a musician. As his 'artsy' mother I understand his need to pursue his music, with the overwhelming desire to honor the Lord, and assist others in their worship of God.

In my work, the desire is to help others 'see' God within the words and scenes I type on the page. I want them to understand something of what I glean from the Word of God. What He has taught me through my tumultuous journeys in order to help others trust in Him.

But alas, we live in a world where food must be put on the table, the roof over our heads must be financed. The gas bill must be paid. And I look at this favorite verse in Psalms and I ask myself like I do every day---Lord, am I doing what you want me to do with the labor of my hands?

I'm writing my third fictional novel at the moment. I've taken a short hiatus from writing the non-fictional Children's Camps International Book. Life is so busy for those folks right now, a short hiatus suits them too. Because in the meantime, I feel a tremendous pressure on me to finish my fictional novel and 'send it out there' with the hope that....this one will sell.

Is this pressure from God? Or my vain imagination? After all, I'm a writer, my imagination works overtime.

Will this fictional novel be it? The one to officially start my career? The one to bring in the small bit of wages I need to help support my household?

I don't know for sure. All I know is that every day, the Lord keeps nudging me forward. Don't stop, keep going. I'll provide.

But it's a bit scary to be taking such a risk. If you know me and care for me, say a little prayer for me. I'd like the confidence within my spirit that I am doing exactly as He wants me to do.

Then I read the verse in Psalms again. For He gives to his beloved even in his sleep...

The Lord gives to me when I take my much needed rest. While I sleep He forges the path for me. Why do I fret?

3 comments:

Debra E. Marvin said...

Hi Christine. Your words brought tears to my eyes today because I struggle with this so often. Not only do I wonder if I'm making the right choices when divide my energies into what I want (writing) and what I could be doing for others. Beyond that, is my writing for Him as much as it's for me? Am I shooting myself in the foot if I don't keep my priorities right--(the labor in vain you mention) It feels like a daily struggle at times.

Thanks for your words. They've encouraged me by reminding me I'm not the only one feeling this way.

Christine Lindsay said...

I'm so glad, Debra, that what I wrote today has helped even one person. Let's both of us keep looking to the Lord, and trusting that He will show us the way.

Rachel said...

Oh, what a wonderful, wonderful post. I identified with every line of it. I even read the same psalm this last weekend. Is the Lord building this house? It's so hard to know. Wouldn't it be nice to receive an answer via certified delivery?