As writers, we acknowledge the call of God to put into the words the story and message of God in our lives. While it may be easy to recognize the gift and talents, we often struggle with accepting the enormity of the call.
In Genesis 12:1, the Lord speaks to Abram, calling him from his place of comfort and familiarity into a strange and unfamiliar land. No fanfare, no ceremony, no anointing oil. Just, “Come, go where I tell you.” And in verse 4, we see the phrase, “So Abram left.”
In the same way, our writing is a call from a place of comfort and familiarity, a world of ordinariness and obscurity, into a place of accountability and responsibility. Once we tell other people that we are writers, that we write novels and stories, there will be an expectation of future productivity. Writing moves us from that group of people who could write, who should write, or who would like to write, into the realm of those who respond to the call.
If you are anything like me, even a four-hour road trip requires some preparation. A change of shoes, an extra jacket, food, and water – all the things we might need along the way.
Abram’s preparations went beyond anything I can imagine. Verse 5 tells us he took his wife, his favorite nephew, and all the goods and people he owned.
Like Abram, we will have people who depend on us to write the stories God gives us, stories that will nourish, encourage, lead, heal, and bless them. Every step of his journey, Abram was surrounded by reminders of God’s goodness to him. And yet, when he arrived at his first stop, he built an altar to the Lord to remind himself and others of God’s goodness.
At their next stop, he repeated the process, building another altar. And later on, he built more altars. Surrounded by hundreds of people and thousands of sheep and goats, Abram still felt the need to leave a physical remembrance of God’s presence and His goodness.
Perhaps Abram was thinking about future generations. Maybe he thought that if he ever came back this way broke, busted, and disgusted, he’d have a reminder to cheer him up when he saw the altars.
Like Abram, we will need to trust God’s plan for us, and believe that those plans are good and for our benefit (Jeremiah 29:11). And like Abram, we need memorials to remember God’s goodness, not just for our benefit, but so others can see that the God we serve is good.
Memorials help us find out way back when we can’t recall the reason we write, or when circumstances such as rejection, failure, or criticism surround us and block our path.
This week, I challenge you to find a rock that signifies your writing life, and put it near where you regularly write to remind you of your call and gift.