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.