Monday, April 29, 2013

Getting into the game

It is surprising to me that God pushes the most unlikely people into limelight. Calvin, pastor and reformer, said this: “Being by nature a bit antisocial and shy, I always loved retirement and peace…But God has so whirled me around by various events that he has never let me rest anywhere, but in spite of my natural inclination, has thrust me into the limelight and made me ‘get into the game’ as they say.” *

Luther, was also thrust ‘into the game.’ He never wanted to leave the monastery but he was thrust into a teaching position and ultimately birthed the reformation.

Then, of course, there was Moses, thrust into the limelight when he met a burning bush. David, when he thought was going to visit his brothers but found himself face to face with a giant. And Amos, a shepherd taking care of sycamore-fig trees (Amos 7:14), thrust into the role of prophet to Israel. None of these people went seeking fame or even attention yet God had other plans for them.

One of my favourite verses is: “make it your ambition to lead a quiet life” (1 Thessalonians 4:11). I am an introvert who loves peace and quiet and avoids being the centre of attention. Yet I find there at times when God thrusts me into the limelight. Like being a writer, for example. Writing is not an occupation where you would expect to be thrust into the limelight. Yet in today’s publishing climate it has become an important part of an author’s role to have a public profile.

I recently came across this quote by Elton Trueblood and found it very challenging: “To make your life small when it could be great is sin and heresy.” It would be easy for me to make my life small – to write for my own pleasure and not put my work out in the public arena; to avoid speaking opportunities and not look for publishing prospects. Yet I know to be faithful to the call on my life I need to ‘get into the game’ and take the steps that will lead to my writing being read by a wider audience. While I may not be entirely comfortable with where this may lead, I can rest in the character of a loving God whose plans and purposes for my life are always good.

*Shelley, B. Church History in Plain Language. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008: 256-257

*****


Susan Barnes likes to write inspirational articles, book reviews, and reflections on Bible passages and regularly blogs at: http://abooklook.blogspot.com.au

15 comments:

  1. Thanks for your thoughtful and honest post, Susan. I'm sure many authors can resonate with your feelings as an introvert. Putting a book out there, let alone promoting it, is certainly a challenge, but as you say, it's about trusting God and believing your journey in it all will be just the right shape for you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I SO SO resonate with what you're saying. I keep wondering when my quiet life is going to start, but it seems God always has more for us to do, and yes, being a writer has some real surprises and challenges with it that keep us on the edge of our comfort zone. I'm glas we can identify with other writers and pray for each other in this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I completely understand you Susan and am on the same page. I'd rather stay in my corner and WRITE than be out there. May is going to be a very challenging month for me since I am beginning work and will be OUT THERE! I will also be speaking at a women's even for 80 - 120 women - quite the biggest speaking event to date. Neither of these are things I'd recklessly rush into - though I am thrilled to be used by God - I feel like Moses saying 'Lord, please send someone else.'

    So thanks for your encouraging words. They will bless me as I go to work this week.
    Anusha

    ReplyDelete
  4. Susan, you continue to be an inspiration to me. Thanks for stepping up to your call! You've blessed me through it! Hopefully I, too can bless others.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Perhaps you can help me with my grammar (the comma is in the wrong place) also.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I always thought writing under a pen name would be the way to go. A wise person once said 'build your platform'. I agree with you Susan, where God calls, He equips. You just never know who you will bless along the way.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think a lot of writers are introverted. I know I am. It's interesting that advertising yourself to the world is part of the territory. I'm quite confortable with this online, but in person would be an interesting challenge. Glad that God equips us.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the comments.

    It is so encouraging to know there are other writers out there who feel the same.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love that quote you used. So true. Thanks for sharing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. A lovely post! Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment!

    Beth

    ReplyDelete
  11. A thought-provoking post Susan. Sometimes we can be reluctant to "put ourselves out there" as a Christian, but God doesn't want us to hide our gift where no-one can see it either. Getting the balance right can be a challenge. Good on you for staying in the game :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Well it looks like we're all in good company. Thanks for your honest post, Susan. Stepping out from our comfort zones requires a lot of prayerful courage. And it's good to realize whom the Lord calls he enables.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Susan, reading that I thought to myself "Gee I don't think there were too many quiet people in the bible actually and hey, look at Jesus( he was far from quiet). If we are to be like him then someone had to change and I don't think it is him! Well illustrated Susan.

    ReplyDelete