You’re invited!

By Michael Ehret

We’ve all received invitations from friends, family,

Some came in the form of
phone calls; others were text messages or even Facebook event e-vites. All of
them nice. All of them with the potential to lead to something fun, instructive,
entertaining, or more.

Even in these days of constant social interaction, nothing
is the same as a hand-written invitation created just for you by the one doing
the inviting. Makes me think of the times in elementary school when kids would
hand out invitations to birthday parties. Thoughts raced through our minds:

  • “Will he give me one?”
  • “Am I good enough?”
  • “Is my name on one of those envelopes?”
  • “Am I on her list?”
(Set aside your mental protestations that not everyone was
receiving an invitation. This was a “once upon a time” that took place before
self-esteem trumped all and before the creation of soft people who needed to be
protected from reality.)
There was a healthy mixture of fear and anticipation as the
invitations were distributed. A little turmoil in the tummy as the expectancy
built. Finally, the exhalation of relief as the invitation was placed in your hands.

My invitation

Last September at the American Christian Fiction Writers
conference in his workshop The Wildness
of Writing with God
, presenter Allen Arnold announced that he had prayed
for all of us and had asked God to give him the words each of us needed to hear
about our creative lives. Then, he said, he had written those words into a
notebook that he would present to us.
I felt that familiar tummy turmoil as he walked around the
room randomly handing out notebooks. Questions raced through my mind as anticipation
and fear warred.
Then Allen set a notebook in front of me. My notebook. And I
knew it was not a message from him—he
was just the conduit. It was a message—an invitation—from God.
And I feared to open it.
But isn’t that often the way? We get what we want—I had
asked God for a sign before the conference—and then are afraid to open it. Afraid
that it won’t be what we hope, but instead some cruel joke.
Unlike the kids in my elementary school classes, God issues
His invitation to everyone, including you.

However, just like those
kids the choice about what to do with God’s invitation is up to us. Will you
put your invitation into your backpack where you forget about it, it gets lost,
and you miss the party?

Will you carry it home eagerly, set it on your desk where
you can look at it every day for encouragement—but never R.S.V.P.? And worse,
never attend?
Or, will you run home, full of excitement, and tell everyone
about your invitation? Will you talk about it as you go to the mall to buy the
perfect outfit? Will you clutch it in your hand as you knock on the door, watch
it open, and step into the party?
It’s your choice. What will you do with God’s invitation?
You may be wondering what message my notebook contained.
That, friend, will be my next topic. See you next month!

Michael Ehret has accepted God’s invitation and is a freelance editor at In addition, he’s worked as editor-in-chief of the ACFW Journal at American Christian
Fiction Writers. He pays the bills as a
marketing communications writer and sharpened his writing and editing skills as a reporter for
The Indianapolis
News and The Indianapolis Star.