All That Glitters…

Glittering gold surrounded the nineteen year old Tutankhamen when he was buried. More than three-thousand years separated the burial of the boy who became king at age nine and the discovery of his burial chamber. His reign was short—only ten years—but Tutankhamen’s legacy lives on today through stunning and brilliant relics. Timeless proof of a thriving civilization that yearned to leave its mark here, and beyond.

At the Tutankhamen exhibit I visited this past December, one piece in particular caught my eye. A hollowed-out ankh used to pour oils or water over Pharaoh during ceremonies. Brilliant turquoise and glaze gleamed under the spotlight. I was struck by the fact that more than three-thousand years ago, some master craftsman labored over that piece, hands smoothing the curves and hollowing out the core, then baking it to perfection, knowing that he crafted it for his “god-king.”

Now, as I sit here, still impacted by that piece from the exhibit, I wonder about my impact, my writing. Not only questioning whether or not it will last (I have no grand delusions about it lasting three-thousand years) but whether I am pouring my heart into the pieces, using my skills to best of my ability to honor my King.

Just as the Egyptian potter was commissioned to design pottery and objects to honor King Tut, so I am commissioned by my King to craft stories that will honor Him. So, I chose to labor over those words, smoothing the transitions, perfecting the plot, and editing to perfection (or as near as I’m able).

How easy it is to shrug and say, “Eh, this will do. It’s good enough.” But what would’ve happened to that Egyptian craftsman if he’d done that? He would have been put to death! Thankfully, we serve a God of mercy and grace, so I’m not worried about being struck down—but I still bear the responsibility of honoring Him. All the more, it makes me yearn to excel, to craft something that will reach through distance and time to touch hearts and reveal another piece of His glory and beauty.

Another piece that fascinated me was a scarab pectoral—a yellowish beetle with this ethereal glow had its golden wings spreading out from either side with blues and reds inlaid into the ornamentation. Scientists were curious about the scarab, fascinated by it’s odd “glow”—and finally discovered it wasn’t a jewel—but super-heated glass, glass only found in one place on earth, the Sahara. My mind trudged through those dunes, grains and wind searing my eyes and face, as I followed the one who dared to make the treacherous journey to honor his god-king. By doing so, he came up with a piece that greatly feted his pharaoh, even three-thousand years later.

How far will I go to honor my King? If the Egyptian craftsman had settled for something closer at hand, would it have pleased his pharaoh as much? Would it have been displayed in a museum as one of the most spectacular finds? Would it have been a favored piece that lay buried with its king, waiting for discovery millennia later?

If I hastily put together a story, knowing that I am a strong enough writer to making anything work, will that honor God as much as if I take my time, douse it patience, diligence, and prayer?

In our fast-paced society, we tend to ignore relics, to not slow down and consider how the past collides with the present, or the future. As writers, it’s even easier to rush our stories (isn’t that editor waiting to see it? What about that deadline?), but in the end, we are master craftsmen whose work will reflect not only our skill, but our dedication to our King, to give testament to the glory of His Kingdom.

I am willing to go the miles, to labor over words and put my own comfort and life on the line to seek the rare jewel. Pen a piece that will make others stop and say, I’ve read a story like that before, but this—wow!

Impacting our world takes a servant’s attitude, a patient heart, and careful craftsmanship so that all that glitters is God!

Ronie Kendig has a BS in Psychology and is a wife, mother of four, and avid writer. Her first espionage thriller, Dead Reckoning, will be released through Abingdon Press (Spring 2010). An active member of ACFW, Ronie serves as the Book of the Year coordinator and volunteers in various ways with ACFW. She also teaches creative writing at her local homeschool co-op. Visit Ronie at her website or her blog