Why Do You Write?

The first morning of the Iowa State Fair, I bounced into the Answers In Genesis booth with a brand new cup of joe, excited and full of life and energy ready as ever to take on any question that was asked of me from any atheist or unbeliever in the area. I was so pumped up. I was doing what many evangelists dream of doing. After I put my stuff away under the train cabinet I got up and started catching up with my friends who I haven’t seen in a while. It not only gets me talking, but building confidence with every word that comes out of my mouth. After a few a hand was extended to me, a new colleague, with the words: “Hi, I’m Dr. So-and-so. So…what do you do?”

I looked back at him and said, while still shaking his hand, “This, sharing the gospel to unbelievers and encouraging our brothers and sisters in Christ.”

“No,” glaring at me with distain, “I mean what do you do to make money.”

Oh, that’s what I thought you meant. If you ever want to derail my good day and watch me squirm as I slither to the nearest hole I can find, ask me what I do for a living. Ask anyone for that matter; it makes people uncomfortable. I answered, “I help people lift their burdens and share the love of Christ as He loves me,” to which he turned towards someone else who was more interesting. And to think this was a guest worker on our team.

I just got done with a book about writing called, Bird By Bird, by Anne Lamott. It is a very interesting read about the writing process, how to handle stress, people problems, and get on with your writing even when you find it extremely difficult. But there was a fascinating passage towards the end. It read:

“You are lucky to be one of those people who wishes to build sand castles with words, who is willing to create a place where your imagination can wander. We build this place with the sand of memories; these castles are our memories and inventiveness made tangible. So part of us believes that when the tide starts coming in, we won’t really have lost anything, because actually only a symbol of it was there in the sand. Another part of us thinks we’ll figure out a way to divert the ocean. This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won’t wash them away. I think this is a wonderful kind of person to be.”

Anne Lamott, Bird By Bird (231)

I probably will never be famous, make lots of money, or even be on the New York Times Best Seller List. My wife on the other hand thinks otherwise. But I honestly didn’t have money or fame on my mind when I started this journey; it was helping people and loving God. Whatever money I receive is what the Lord wants me to have. I am content (Luke 3:14; Philippians 4:11; 1 Timothy 6:8).

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

Hebrews 13:5-6NKJV

What do writers want more than anything? Then want to be read. They want to be heard. They want to be understood. To take my human experience and help another through it so that they don’t struggle as much as I did; if there is something out of my life that could be gleaned for another. That someone will one day read my story, and be delivered from fear, sin, heartache, pain; towards deliverance and to walk with their Creator. So much more important than money, don’t you agree?

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