We were still in pearls and trailing black dresses as we sat on barstools after the gala and talked about the evening’s end. It was the last of the ACFW conference (American Christian Fiction Writers), and we were all in good spirits after incredible food—three days of waiters offering coffee in white porcelain cups after every meal (one waiter even fluffed a napkin and put it on my lap)—conversation, interviews, and for some, awards.
I sat at the same table with one woman I’d met earlier, one who during the conference was full of grace as she encouraged and prayed for individuals as they walked into those terrifying 15 minute interviews. It was impressive to see that during the gala her face came up as one of the three finalists for an award in not just one but two categories. Unfortunately her name wasn’t called and she didn’t end up on stage with plaque in hand (this time). Still, what an honor. I congratulated her, but saw the understandable disappointment lingering in her eyes.
I thought to myself, “I’d be thrilled to be you! Walk home with two finalists awards under my belt.”
And it made me think.
Of the hundreds at that conference, we all had the same basic goal and could easily look to the person on our left or right and want to be in their position. The fun-loving girl chit chatting about thrift shops and plane tickets ended up being an author of (*pause while I google*) 12 books! I go to the bathroom and recognize the face of an author whose book I’m currently reading (I almost chanted the creepy phrase from a bathroom scene in her novel over the stall)! I turn around at dinner to find I’m back-to-back with none other than Francine Rivers.
But regardless of where we are, of the temptations to want to be in others’ shoes and situations, I find the words of Lewis impeccable:
“Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or your happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment ‘as to the Lord.’ It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received.”
What’s the point of not being happy with wherever I am right now? As a follower of God my hopes and dreams are not even my own. Who cares if I succeed or fail in finding an agent, selling my book, writing words that reach hundreds, thousands, millions? If it is not in the will of God, or of eternal significance, then may such ventures pass away unattended. But if it is the will of God, and of eternal significance, then I’m sure God can nudge the plans forward for His glory.
Because, after all, this isn’t about me.
Always be joyful.
Never stop praying.
Be thankful in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you
who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thess 5:16-18
Check it out! C.S. Lewis The Weight of Glory
Daily Meditation: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28
Bible in a Year: Isaiah 59-61; 2 Thessalonians 3