Sunday, September 21, 2014

September's Thoughts to Ponder

Just start… or restart

Ideas swarm a writer’s mind, buzzing at inopportune times, like when we’re at our day job or trying to sleep at night. Thoughts are plentiful; the challenge lies in pinning them down. We need to sit at the keyboard and just start. In my case, an even greater challenge is to restart. To take that piece I thought I honed to perfection and rewrite it. One of the most dreaded words a writer hears has to be rewrite.

My summer goal was to sew up three projects I had finished - research publishers, write proposals, submit them, and be done with them. I was eager to do this and set fresh goals for the fall so, in June, I tackled the book I most want to publish. I suspected that I repeatedly used a weak phrase, so I purposed to speed read through the manuscript and edit that phrase. My quick scan was a disaster. Reading the manuscript with fresh eyes, I realized the writing was terse and disjointed. With growing alarm I realized I needed to rewrite it. The idea of rewriting what I thought was a finished project, overwhelmed me. I prayed my despair and, that night, lying sleeplessly in bed, a fresh approach took shape.

It’s September and today we will share the fall goals we want to start. Mine is not what I imagined or hoped because my goal is to restart. I will rewrite the book I thought was finished. I will pick through the rubble and rebuild my manuscript.

Facing this task, I considered the Israelites’ dilemma when they faced a destroyed temple and the overwhelming task to rebuild it. In the book of Haggai they were asked, “Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing?” (2:3). That’s how I felt about my manuscript. Any former glory I thought it possessed now seemed like nothing.

Three times Haggai told the people to be strong. Chapter two, verse four reads, “’Be strong, all you people of the land,' declares the Lord, 'and work. For I am with you,' declares the Lord Almighty.” That’s what I needed, a cheerleader telling me to be strong and work, assuring me that God is with me.

Then the Lord said, “The silver is mine and the gold is mine” and promised, “The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house” (2:8-9). I acknowledged that my ability is His, my gifts are His, my time is His, my life is His. Something better can come out of something that was good because of God’s supply and direction.

Take Home Thought: As we begin our fall goals, whether they include starting or restarting, let’s be strong, and work, for God is with us and equips us - for His glory.

Our next meeting is October 4, 10 am -12 noon. 

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