Famous Canadian author, W.O. Mitchell is quoted as saying – “the most constant state of an artist is uncertainty. You must face confusion, self-questioning, dilemma. Only amateurs are confident...be prepared to live with the fear of failure all your art life."
Not a pleasant thought, is it? As writers, we all live with some uncertainty. We write an article and never really know its worth until someone reads it and makes comment. We stew about that book manuscript, wondering if any editor will think it worthy of publishing. We spend hours polishing a poem and wonder if we have wasted our time. We will, from time to time, face confusion, self-questioning and even dilemma, as Mitchell suggests, but we do not have to live in that state.
The writer of Hebrews told his readers that they, too, would face uncertainty, confusion, dilemma. They would face persecution and yes, the appearance of failure. Then he said, “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (Hebrews 10: 35-36) The writer of Hebrews is not talking about the self-confidence of a much-published writer, which can lead to pride and an over-blown ego. He is talking about the confidence “to enter the Most Holy Place.”
The reference here is to the inner sanctuary, the place where only a high priest could enter, and only once a year after much preparation. Even then, the priest risked death when he stepped on that holy ground. For there, there in that place, was God. And how is it we can have such audacity, to enter with confidence? “…by the blood of Jesus.” (Heb. 10:19)
A writer who is Christian does not have to submit to a perspective like Mitchell’s. As believers, we can have confidence, not in our own talents, but in the fact that God is there. He is approachable, accessible, and He has promised to use our gifts and talents to serve others, to His glory. Therefore there is no need for fear of failure, nor of success. Our confidence is in Christ. Our calling is to work in obedience and humility.
The writer of Hebrews continues…. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” As writers, we have all been given a spur – the gift of communication – to use for the sake of others and for the sake of our most faithful God. May He find us faithful to that task.
Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada, where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone was short listed in The Word Awards. Marcia also has three devotional books in print and has contributed to several anthologies, including the Hot Apple Cider books. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan.
Abundant Rain, an ebook devotional for writers can be downloaded on Smashwords or on Amazon. It is also now available in Journal format on Amazon.
Her most recent release is A Traveler’s Advisory, Stories of God’s Grace Along the Way.
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