I have never really looked at myself as an author. I don’t have a burning desire to author books.
I am, however, a writer and communicator. As a manager and consultant by vocation, writing is critical to my work. Further, I have been journaling almost daily for over thirty years and have preached at church when the pastor needed a backup.
I enjoy communicating my thoughts to myself and to others. When I write, I think. Writing helps me structure and express my thoughts. When I write in my journal, it seems I’m my own “shrink”. I usually do it after I have read something spiritual, often it’s the day’s entry for My Utmost for His Highest (by Oswald Chambers) and the relevant Bible passages. I evaluate my life and recent experiences in a spirituality context. I seek to find out where in my life I need to further submit to Christ–and there are many.
I just reviewed some of my entries written a decade ago and found that there are major areas of my life where submission had been and is still lacking. On the one hand, it’s discouraging: How long do I have to struggle with the same old sins? On the other hand, it’s encouraging to see that the submissions come faster and further now. Obedience is never easier but at least I do it more often than before.
Looking back, it’s been fifteen years, since the turn of the century, when I started to move from the traditional judge-first view of God to the parent-first view. I started to share through my occasional sermons, which were uniformly well-received. That encouraged me to question and dig more deeply into scripture and other spiritual writings and communicate more, mostly through conversations and sermons. The more I dug, the more I–and those with whom I discussed–were moved by the discoveries.
About ten years ago, according to my journal, I started to have the desire to write about my discoveries and an idea of a book surfaced. To make a long story short, it would be eight years, in 2013, before Seeing God Differently, my first book, was published.
Soon after it was published, some readers were forming study groups for the book! I sent them questions they could use and the idea of a Study Guide edition surfaced. So, for the last two years, I made a few starts but never went far. I was invariably distracted by earning income by consulting and operating a small business and discouraged by the seeming insurmountable task of writing another book and the fear that no one may be interested in reading it. I still spend lots of time in my journal and prayers but authoring a second book has been rendered to the bottom of my list of things to do.
However, the idea continues to grow and has become a conviction. I feel that the world needs to know God better as their Loving Parent than as their Immovable Judge. Jesus doesn’t die to take the penalty from God on our behalf; Jesus, on the Cross, takes on the ugly and tragic penalty of sin that humankind imposes on each other, the creation, and God. Humans nailed Jesus, God incarnate, on the Cross; God the Father didn’t!
I feel as though, if I didn’t respond to this burning desire to communicate what I have learned about God, I’d be disobeying God’s calling for me. At sixty-four, I’m entering my “golden years”. If I didn’t seize what time I have left on earth to follow this conviction, I fear that I may go to my earthly grave with the regret of not following my calling.
So, here I am, a reluctant author. I’m putting this entry on the blog. No one would probably ever read it but, nonetheless, it’s public. I’m committing to put this conviction on a higher priority and, God willing and assisting, book two would become a reality without waiting for another eight years.