Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Shine Your Light!



Luke 11:33
No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.

In my last two installments here at Meditations of My Heart, I reprise the sermon from Pastor Mike Russell, one of the main characters in my Adventures in The Glade series.  One would think this would be easiest of tasks, sharing with you words I've previously penned, and simply restating them here to share God's message through Mike's (my) eyes.

I find, to my chagrin, this is far from the truth.

The moment I begin typing from the novel onto my blog space, I see them.  Revisions!  They glare at me mockingly.  Why didn't you catch me in the first place?

Inwardly, I groan.  I catch myself many times in the task of retyping longing to change this word here or that word there.  Get a grip, Martha!  It's already in print.  Let it go!

This experience reminds of something I read about the beloved and esteemed author, J. R. R. Tolkien.  He wrote The Lord of the Rings, but hung onto it for twelve long years before even offering his masterpiece to a publisher.  And this happened only after constant and unflagging encouragement by his friends and fellow authors finally dissolved Tolkien's will.

Where would the literary world be without hobbits and elves, dwarfs and wizards?

What if Tolkien had decided to hide his light under a bowl until he deemed his work perfect?

While I'm hardly comparing myself to this illustrious author as Tolkien will never cease to inspire me from a lofty and well-deserved pedestal, the quandaries we face are the same.  Is it wise to hold back, to edit just that one more time, before allowing our words to have free reign in the world?  When is it enough to know God is leading us in our writing and assures us His light will shine through our words?

When is it time to let go and let God?

I'm not perfect.  Tolkien wasn't perfect.  And neither are you.

But that is no excuse not to shine the light God has given us into an imperfect world so in need of hearing words of comfort, hope, love, and grace.

So I take a deep breath, and I look at my writing with fresh perspective.  The message is there, present in spite of the few things I wish I could change.

The message is there.

Placed on a stand, bold and true, for all to see.

And I hear the Lord speak to my heart:  "My light is shining!"

Thanks be to God!

~

How are you shining God's light today?

Prayer:  Father, remind us always that in our weaknesses and imperfections, You can make us instruments of testimony to Your kingdom.  May we strive to follow Your will in all our endeavors, not hiding our light under a bowl, but shining it brightly into this darkened world so in need of Your love and grace.  It is in Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

14 comments:

  1. Excellent word for Christian Poets & Writers, Martha! Thanks. I'll share this on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Christianpoetsandwriters/. God bless.

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    1. Thank you, Mary! You are too kind.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Excellent encouragement Martha! Mary, glad you shared/highlighted this, God bless!

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    1. Thank you, Strength in Christ!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Some people live in the land of woulda, shoulda, coulda. In writing. In living. I have not written and can't say I haven't thought about it but the latter? I want to Live the Adventure!

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    1. Oh, yes, Bill, live the adventure and live it with gusto! No woulda, shoulda, couldas for us, no siree!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Martha, Thank you for this wonderful encouragement to shine our light. Believe it or not, I struggle with my blog posts too, especially when I'm trying to use what I've written in the past--editing is not for the faint of heart. My master's thesis is another example of it just had to get DONE, it didn't have to be complete (it did, however, have to pass the "inspection" process of the thesis reviewer!).

    Learning to let my light shine is clearly a LONG process, spanning over more than a decade. One guy, during my undergrad days would get after me about hiding my light (his way of prodding/encouraging me) to play a piano prelude for weekly worship.

    Clearly, we are works in progress. God isn't finished with us. Therefore, we shouldn't give up!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. We are, indeed, works in progress, Kim, that's for sure! But with God's help, we can shine our light and overcome the darkness of doubt about our own abilities and gifts He has given to us. And yes, editing is NOT for the faint of heart - I can testify to that!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Perfect encouragement. If you remember my whining blog post, I lost lots of stuff from my computer last month. I have to retype several self published books to get them back into digital form. Have been postponing the process for the very reason you mentioned. My goal though is to get it done in March. Let our light shine!!

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    1. Yes, Jean, I do remember that post, and my heart ached for you. It is so tough to lose things you've worked on for weeks and months, maybe even years. There but for the grace of God go I, though I do try to back up all writing I can't afford to lose on an external hard drive just in case.
      Hope you reach your March goal!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. This was a much needed encouragement <3

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    1. Thank you, Privy! So gratified to know that it was.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Hi Martha! This is a post that everyone needs to read. Of course we all don't think we have much to offer (unless we're some kind of megalomaniac) and get nervous about our gifts. But God gave us what we have to share. No matter what we think of it, God thinks it's precious and rare. And it is! You have something none of us has Martha. Celebrate that! Love it! Because you sure know God does :)
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Thank you, Ceil, for your affirmative and encouraging words! Yes, we each have gifts and those can differ tremendously, but as you said, God gave them to us for the purpose of sharing with others. We each need to celebrate our own unique gifts and purposes just as God celebrates over us.
      Love and blessings!

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