Okay, I admit it. Every once in a while, I log onto Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com and type in my name just so I can look at the list of books. It sounds stupid, I know. After all, it's not like I don't have most of the books here at the house. Still, there's something about seeing them on the computer that motivates me. There I am, Shirlee McCoy the AUTHOR. Who'd have thought it? Not any of my elementary school teachers. Not my middle school language teacher. A couple of high school teachers encouraged my writing, and maybe a college professor or two might have had an inkling that I'd be published one day.
What's my point? Just that we can never know what the future will bring, or how God will use our gifts. We can plan and set our goals. We should plan and set goals. In the end, though, it is God's timing that moves us forward into whatever success we might find. God and a whole lot of hard work and persistence.
When I was a kid, making up stories in my head and day dreaming my life away, I never thought I'd write books one day. The first time I remember actually thinking about writing a novel was when I was a young teen and my sister said she planned to write a book. Suddenly all that daydreaming didn't seem so pointless. I thought, "I can write a book." I actually began my first novel that day. Of course, writing a book is a lot more difficult than actually conceiving the idea. It took me another couple of decades to complete a novel. My sister is still trying to finish one.
I suppose I could still be where she is, not quite committed to the dream. Somehow, though, I was able to go from dream to effort and from effort to success. Maybe I was too much of a daydreamer to worry about how much money I would or wouldn't make or whether or not the sacrafice of time and sleep would be worth the eventual results.
You see, to be an author, we must suspend disbelief, stop worrying about reality, and sink wholeheartedly into the dream. Rejections, writer's block (and, yes, there is such a think), harsh critisisms, they must be in the periphery, shaping and molding us without causing us to colapse. We must be tough and soft at the same time. Committed without being overly attached to our ideas. Sure of ourselves without being arrogant. We must, in essence, be people of character. In an industry like the one we strive to be part of, living with Christ as our center provides the grounding that keeps our reputations pure. And whether we want to believe it or not, reputation means a lot.
Where is your focus today? Who is your model as you interact with the world and deal with the harsh reality that comes from pursuing your dreams?