by Jennifer Slattery @Jenslattery
When I first sensed God’s call to write, I tried to ignore Him. The very idea seemed completely irrational. Spend my time, maybe a decade or more, pursuing an unpredictable, subjective career? One with no job security and where every contract is tentative and dependent on the sales of a previously released book.
Couldn’t I do something easier? Something more . . . productive? More lucrative?
But then the pastor of our old church gave a sermon on the managers with the talents. As I listened, I knew God was calling me out.
You’re probably familiar with the story. In a nutshell, three men were given a sum of money and told to manage it while their boss went on a trip. Two of the men invested the money, earning more than they were given. The third man allowed fear to dominate his actions.
When his boss returned, this is what he said: “Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.”
The boss’s response: “You wicked and lazy servant.”
Wicked and lazy.
I find that response interesting.
Could it be fear is rooted in self love? And yet, Christ calls us to die to ourselves, to surrender our rights, hopes, and dreams. To offer our talents, however big or small, to be used by God, as He sees fit.
That’s a game changer. Imagine writing completely free of fear, your only driving force being your love for Christ and obedience to Him. You’ll pursue excellence, for He deserves it, but you’ll no longer feel driven by the need to perform. To measure up. Because in Christ, you already do.
So how does this play out in life? I thought this pressure to perform would lessen once I got published. I was wrong. With every review, interview, and Amazon ranking, this pressure only increased. And it began to cloud out my calling, to overshadow my gift as questions like, “Is this marketable?” occupied my thoughts.
The solution? I had to bring everything back to obedience and surrender. I needed to remember, daily, what Christ had done for me, the price He paid to set me free. In light of that, surrender became easy. The only rational response, really. And in surrender, I found freedom. And in freedom, my creativity blossomed.
Will what I write today be marketable tomorrow? I don’t know. But if done in surrendered obedience, regardless of my sales rankings, my crucified and risen Lord will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Catch his ending phrase: “You’ve been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities.”
What about you? Have you allowed fear to hold you back? To pull you toward the easy or predictable? To quiet your creativity and hinder your freedom? If so, pause to contemplate what Christ did for you on the cross. He gave His all so you might live. Does that not give you every reason to live fully for Him?
How author @Jenslattery found freedom from fear and let creativity blossom - on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)
For writers: often from surrender comes freedom, and in freedom creativity - via @Jenslattery (Click to Tweet)
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her teenage daughter and coffee dates with her handsome railroader husband.
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.
Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently on sale at Amazon for under $4 (print and kindle version) Read a free, 36-page excerpt here: http://issuu.com/newhopedigital/docs/slattery_sampler/1
When Dawn Breaks
As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution propel her north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. However, he's dealing with a potential conspiracy at work, one that could cost him everything, and Jacqueline isn't sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. Then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her change at having love again in order to be restrored?