Thursday, September 23, 2010
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out of us. Hebrews 12:1
I really don’t think the crowd flanking me in my office right now is what Paul had in mind when he wrote, “surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses.” I’m sure he had someone less furry in mind.
I’m coming up for air from editing a manuscript. I want to submit it to a contest, and the deadline is bearing down on me. I’ve worked on this manuscript for a couple of years now, but I‘ve recently been trying to add another seven thousand words to meet the contest guidelines. I’m close, really close. I only need to add a little less than a thousand words at this point--hopefully good words--compelling words. I’m not going to invent a new plot line to accommodate those extra words, so I’ve just got to plump up what I already have—oh, so tedious. And I have to do it without disturbing anything else I have going on or leaving a blazing red thread dangling to which I never return. I heard someone once say that writing a novel is like playing ten games of chess at one time. Yeah, I got that. If I’d been writing fiction for twenty years, I probably could knock those words out in thirty minutes, but I haven’t and I can’t.
The contest is really a long shot, but it’s a goal I’ve set for myself. If I only entered contests in which I felt qualified, I would have never entered the first one. But getting back to that cloud of witnesses. I just want to be faithful to the gift God has given me like those of faith who’ve gone before. Madeleine L’Engle used to speak often about “serving the gift.” What she meant was no matter the size of the gift we have, we must use it, develop it, and be thankful for it. So to that end, I set writing goals like the thousand words a day I’ve written about before. However, I also set yearly writing goals I want to accomplish like this contest.
So, here I am today running the race God has for me--word by word.
As you can see though, I’m not lonely on my journey. And yes, that's a tea tray one of the cats is sleeping on. It’s one of her favorite spots.