August 30, 2016

An 'A' for Effort by Susan Barclay

I have to admit, I’m not a big sports fan and the only Olympic sport that really interests me is figure skating, which is not part of the summer Olympics. This year, though, I will take an interest in the Paralympic swimming competition, since a young man who is part of our church family will be participating. Go, Alec, go!

One thing I know about Olympic-level athletes is that they train hard and train often. Every day they work at their sport for hours, trying to better themselves, better their time, building strength and endurance so that ultimately they might beat their competitors and win the prize. They don’t allow excuses to get in their way – they make time and manage it well, pushing themselves to do and be their best, trying to achieve the most that they can.

This is how I should be as a writer – spending hours daily honing my craft through practice; reading as much as I can the work of the best writers; learning from the pros; taking courses; never settling for my second best or mediocrity. If my goal is publication, and it is, I also need to learn the art of successful submitting; how to work with agents, editors and publishers; how to accept and avoid rejection; how to win the prize of a ‘yes.’

This is how I should also be as a woman of faith – spending hours in God’s Word and in prayer, drawing closer to Him and becoming more like Him every day. Not only should I be enjoying His grace and the gifts of His love and mercy, but I should be extending these to others and exalting His name so it might be made great in all the nations. In fact, my life as a writer and my life as a Christ-follower ought to be inextricably connected.

May I live as Paul exhorted in 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NLT): Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!  

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  1. This is an excellent way to round out the month, Susan. (Although we do have one last post tomorrow!) There are such strong comparison's between the writing life and the life of an athlete. All the best as you continue to move forward.

  2. Your second last paragraph, Susan, reminded me of James 4:8, which says, "Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded." Many of us go through the "I-should-do-this kind of thinking. More recently, I've been thinking more of letting God do whatever it is he would like to do in me. In this way, when we draw close to God, he will draw close to us. We let him come closer.

    I too desire my writing life "to be inextricably connected" to "my life as a Christ-follower." Amen, and thank you, Susan.


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