This is the second post inspired by the keynote addresses given by Canadian poet DS Martin at InScribe’s 2021 Fall Conference. To recap:
- Writing is a calling, but this doesn’t mean one has to write Christian content.
- The best way to glorify God is to strive to be excellent at whatever He’s called us to do.
Inspiration and discipline are like art and craft. Inspiration is the art, but craft—writing well—takes discipline. A final component to this equation is patience. Honing one’s craft takes time. There are no shortcuts. It is hard work. Patience is like the faith component for Christian writers. If God has truly called us to write, we must trust that He is in control and that, sometimes, what He deems as success is not necessarily what the world would call success.
This is a difficult realization to accept, and certainly difficult to walk out, even for Christians. We often have more faith in our own intellect and actions than in God. We may claim to have given our writing over to God, but in honesty, we’re holding on, not really willing to let go. God does everything in His timing, which might not line up with the way we think things should go. We mustn’t try to skip the struggle. Sometimes discomfort and lack of control are part of what faith requires. This takes humility. “I must simply have faith that God is just—even to the pharaohs of this world—especially when I don’t have the answers.” DS Martin
There have been some monumental shifts in society over the past millennia that have changed society at its deepest level, creating a shift in the way we interact with one another and view the world and our place in it. First, Roman roads created a network that made travel easier and people became more connected. In effect, the world became a smaller place; people could go from place to place more easily, and thus, ideas also travelled. People began to experience cultures and ideas beyond their own small sphere of influence. Then, during the Renaissance, Gutenberg’s printing press was the next major shift. Suddenly, information was accessible to a larger audience, not just the elite. Ideas were shared widely and society changed. The last great shift came with the Internet. It has literally changed the way people communicate, access information, and even think. (Unfortunately, this information is not always vetted or accurate.)
In the midst of all these changes, God has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. No matter how the world changes around us, His plan and purposes have not changed. We each have a part to play in that plan but must also remember that we aren’t indispensable to His plan, even if He chooses to involve us. “Our personal political opinions are not necessarily God’s view.” ~ DS Martin
In the end, it really comes down to obedience. If He has called us to write, then it’s up to us to do so with excellence, remembering that we honour and glorify Him simply by doing what He has called us to do with fearlessness and confidence but also without undue pride. As writers, we wrestle with the dichotomy of presenting our words to the world and remaining humble. “Every one of us, as people of faith who are called to write, must wrestle with the apparent contradiction of being writers. The very act of writing says, ‘Pay attention to me! Or at least pay attention to what I’ve done.’” ~ DS Martin
Fortunately, all things are possible through Him who gives us strength—and a sense of purpose.
“Like the sea, like the rivers, like the mountains which bring Him glory by simply being what he’s made them to be, those who are called to write are called to write to the glory of God.” ~ DS Martin
Tracy Krauss is the past president of InScribe. She has more than 30 novels, books, and stage plays in print. Her novels strike a chord with those looking for thought-provoking romance with a twist of suspense and a touch of humour. It’s “fiction on the edge without crossing the line.”