Seeing Your Writing as Worship

Hello! This is Pamela Meyers and I’m thrilled to say that I
am one of Novel Rocket’s newest staff members. I’ve guest blogged here a number
of times, but now I have a regular assignment. You’ll see me here on the third
Monday of each month, sometimes with an author interview and other times, a
thoughtful essay from me or a teaching piece on writing craft.

For my first posting this month I thought I’d revisit a blog
post I wrote several years ago on how a message from a radio preacher affected
me as a writer. His anecdote about Elisabeth Elliott and a stolen manuscript
that contained two years of translation helped me tremendously with my own
attitude toward the hours I’d put in to my writing with no visible signs of success
so far as publication was concerned.
I’ve tweaked it a bit, since this is now several years later,
but I feel it still holds great relevance today. Below is the piece.
***
                                   
On my way to meet a friend after church, I set my radio to
the local Christian station and zipped down the toll way. A pastor’s voice
boomed through the speakers as he spoke about worship and its various forms. I glanced out the window at the passing landscape and marveled the beauty of God’s handiwork in the fall colors. I immediately thanked Him for his creativity–definitely a form of worship.
The pastor’s voice cut into my thoughts as he related a
story about Elisabeth Elliott, the wife of missionary Jim Elliott, who many
years ago was one of several missionaries killed by Ecuadorian natives. After
his death, Elisabeth traveled to Ecuador to complete her husband’s translation
work.
A couple years after she arrived, she traveled from one
location to another, her precious translation manuscript tucked into the
suitcase she carried. This was before the days of computers. Everything was done by pen
and paper; no hard drives, the cloud, or backups on a thumb drive existed. It
was her only copy. Somehow, the unthinkable happened.  
The suitcase was stolen.
Despite days of searching for the manuscript, it was never
found. Someone asked her if she was angry at God for what had happened. Elisabeth answered
in the form of a question. How could she be angry when every hour of her work
was done as an act of worship? The work had been stolen, but the thief could never
steal those times of worship as she translated the Bible.
That answer caught me up short as I drove along. I’d already spent many years
of writing, rewriting, and writing without a contract offer. Thinking
about Elisabeth’s comment, I likened her stolen work to the many rejections I’d
received thus far. Not exactly an exact analogy since if my laptop were stolen,
as tragic as that would have been, I’d still have backup copies of my manuscripts. But,
I asked myself, what if I never receive THE call from my agent. Would I have
the same attitude as Elisabeth Elliot?
Would I still see my writing as an act
of worship?
 
In Romans 12 we are called to present ourselves as a living sacrifice
as a spiritual act of worship, and that was how I should see all of my work—as a
ministry unto the Lord. I determined right then that if non-publication was
God’s plan for me and I was called to write only for Him as an act of worship,
I was okay with it. After that fall morning, I still experienced disappointment when I
received a rejection, but I was able to quickly bounce back and keep going
thanks to knowing God was pleased with my work no matter what.
A couple years after I wrote this post, God blessed me with
book contracts in ways I never dreamed. Nowadays, I not only see my writing as
a ministry and act of worship for God, but everything I do that is writing
related is done in worship.
After all, this is what He has called me to do, and no one can take those hours of worship away from me.