“When I run, I feel his pleasure.” These words were spoken by Eric Liddell, the Olympic runner and missionary to China, whose life was portrayed in the movie, Chariots of Fire.
Prompt: Tell us about those moments, those times when you feel God’s pleasure as you write. What advice would you give to someone who is discouraged and needs to feel God’s pleasure?
Writing as Intentional Worship
The Jog: I have been a jogger and know the same kind of endorphin lift, the same Divine pleasure that Eric Liddell felt as he ran. Words come to me: Energized. Engaged. Thankful. Inspired. Fulfilled.
Sometimes my writing gives me that endorphin lift. A number of months ago I came across a list of activities where I knew God’s pleasure.
· Reading something I’ve written months ago and discovering how good it is. Could I have written such good words?
· Writing the first draft that comes easily
· Finding a missing link in my research or application
· Finishing an article well
· Seeing my writing in print
· Connecting with the writing community and with readers
The Steep Uphill Climb: I would like to think that writing is one great endorphin lift. It isn’t.
Sometimes my writing is like my first steep mountain hike years ago; I looked up at all the height I had yet to climb and said I couldn’t go on. My friend Carol stayed behind with me, encouraging me on. “You can do it,” she said, “Just take your time and rest when you need to.” My words this time are: Slogging. Rewriting. Discouraging. Exhausting.
In these times I know God’s encouragement more than His pleasure. He speaks to me quietly: “I will help you write that piece,” or “Rest today.” Or He tells me about my discouragement, “Don’t let Satan get a foothold.” But most often He gives me Scripture, such as this recent one: “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you” (1 Chron 28:20 NLT).
The Steady Walk: As I write this blog entry, I’m aware that so far I’ve focused on God during the highs and lows of writing. More often, however, my writing is like my morning walks—in the sunny fragrant early morning (as it was this morning), or in midwinter when I have to bundle up and watch for icy patches. The words this time are: Steady. Regular. In most kinds of weather.
But there are two more words: Intentional. Worship. During my walks, I intentionally praise God and tell Him the breathings of my heart, pray for others and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. Walking has become an intentional worship.
As I meditated on this month’s theme, I know God wants my praise. And so, whether I feel God’s pleasure in the moments of exhilaration, know His encouragement in the difficult times, or just simply meet God at my computer each morning , I pray that my writing will be worship—intentional worship.