1 Cor 16:13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
Pastor Rich, in discussing the end of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, talked about Paul’s affirmation to be strong. In this case we’re not talking about physical strength, or personal strength, but strength that comes from the Lord.
He challenged us to think about the ways in which we need to rely on the Lord’s strength, and the ways in which we instead rely on our own.
In most situations I do not feel the immediate need for the lord’s support. I am capable and disciplined in my job, and in my life passions. The most distinct times I have felt the need for God were during times of personal illness, or illness or tragedy within the family. There have been a few other crisis related situations, but it does not feel like something that is part of my every day experience.
If I was really a Northeastern protestant, I could say that I was doing this because I don’t want to be a bother to God. All of my little problems are something that he doesn’t need to worry himself with. But if I’m being more honest, it comes much more out of arrogance or at least confidence in my own abilities. Both programming and writing require a certain amount of personal ego to function well in the job (it takes a certain amount of ego to assume other’s should read you, and programmers by their very nature speak confidently about their field).
I guess one area in my daily life I need God’s strength, support and insight is writing about God. I’m much more confident in my ability to analyze the day’s publishing events, or to break down how to create a certain type or fractal, or even to craft a mystery or story, than I am to speak about what God has to say. Writers speak with a certain voice, and I still feel that when I write about faith I haven’t quite found the voice that God wants me to speak with.
There are others. In truth I wonder how much more disciplined, how much more could be accomplished if I relied less on my own moods and inspirations, and more on God’s inspiration. I’m pretty happy I’ve been able to revise 72% of an 80K word draft in about five months, but that was with long swaths of time off in between, and varying degrees of confidence.
And life is not all about writing. I need God’s strength in other areas of my life that need discipline. In my health, my reach of the gospel to others, in my relationships.
Okay, so I know I need God’s strength. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out how to give up being stubborn, self-centered, and self-reliant, an easy thing for an only child writer to do.
Yeah. Well, we’ll see.