Monday, 1 June 2015

"How much longer?" by Simon Kennedy

“When is something finally going to break for me?”

I was on the phone to a good friend. We were rehashing a familiar litany. When was he going to find a publisher for his novels? When was I going to find a producer for my screenplays? We discussed how our questions reflected our impatience with God.

Both of us had sensed His call to creative communication. We had both received confirmation through wise counsel, had worked and studied diligently, and received acclamation for our early work. In our hearts we were wondering, “Lord, you have brought us to this door. When are you going to open it?”

During our conversation, I remembered a scene from a movie in which a line of archers stood with their arrows nocked, bow strings taut, muscles straining. The enemy advanced but the archers’ leader shouted, “Hold!”

Among the archers was a veteran of many battles. For him, the enemy was already within range, but he waited, calm and assured. Next to him was a young man, fresh out of training, fingers trembling on the bow string from a mixture of nerves and eagerness. The wait for him was excruciating but he trusted his leader and stood ready for the command to “Loose!”

Fired in unison, the arrows took a devastating toll.

My friend and I felt like we were somewhere in between the veteran and the rookie, having been victorious in a few minor skirmishes. We had trained hard, proven ourselves competent and were chafing for more action. This scene held a powerful reminder: It’s not about us.

Yes, we had been enlisted, honed our skills and been placed on that line. Our Commander had been with us at every step. He knew our capabilities, our temperament, our desires. But when He said, “Hold,” regardless of our individual opinion, we needed to trust that He understood the field of battle. His strategy was sound. With Him, we would ultimately be triumphant.

In His timing, our efforts would be far more effective.

By the end of the conversation, we had changed the question from, “When is something finally going to break?” to “Will I be ready when He gives the command to loose?”

Do you stand on a similar line, wondering when God is going to release you? Or maybe you’re a veteran who can share some words of wisdom for those of us who are still waiting to be called up to our first major battle. It would be great to hear your thoughts.


Through his involvement in Omega Writers, Simon is committed to seeing Christian writers aim true and hit their mark. His "victorious skirmishes" have included national short story and poetry prizes and placing as a finalist in an international short film competition. His YouTube channel, Songs with Simon, has almost 750,000 hits. He is actively waiting for feature film and television scripts to be accepted for production... all in God's time.


  1. Whooh! A powerful message to all of us impatient writers, Simon. I say that because I haven't yet met an author who hasn't felt that way.

    Straining at the leash...that was me for a l-o-n-g time. But in answer to heartfelt prayers, and through other wise counsel from those who I trusted, I went Indy. I have spoken to quite a few US authors who are doing that besides having been published the trad. route.
    We all have to keep on working, but as you say WAIT until our Leader gives us that all important 'go-ahead' signal.

  2. Hi Simon - What a great image. It can be hard waiting - but in recent months I've been thankful that my first novels weren't published immediately after I finished them as I've had time to improve them and it's easier to change small details to fit in with the later stories. It's still hard to wait but I'm more ready to accept my commander's timing :)

  3. Great post Simon and very timely for me. My Commander has asked me to 'hold' and 'wait' on many counts in my life - writing and otherwise - and I have had to trust Him. Thank you for expressing it so graphically.

    May our Leader give you the go ahead signal at His perfect time. And patience to obey as you wait on that perfect timing! And yes, you will be ready! :)

  4. A great post, Simon. I've wanted to put out a poetry anthology for a long time and probably have enough to do so. But I feel God gave me a specific instruction about what the first one should be and I don't have enough poems on that theme yet. I get impatient sometimes and think I could just put something out and keep working on the other one, but it's not what God's asked me to do at the moment.

    I'm also antsy to get a novel out, so of course I chose something really difficult - A parallel narrative spanning three continents and four time periods. What was I thinking?

    Though it can be hard to wait, it's better to follow God's leading because you know the finished product will be worth the wait. In the meantime, I've had lots of short pieces published and keep honing my skills, so it's all been worthwhile and I've learned so much along the way.Thanks for sharing. I'll look forward to your blockbuster movie coming out :)

  5. Thanks Rita, Jeanette, Anusha and Nola.

    It's good to be in the trenches with you! I see fruit in all of your lives, even if you characterise your current season as one of waiting. Thanks for the blessing you've already been to me.

  6. Ah waiting! sigh. I'm over it. I'm looking for action. I feel as though I've been holding this arrow in place for years and years. Waiting, waiting, waiting for promises to be fulfilled, opportunities to open in every area of life.
    Recently my intercessor said God wanted to ask me a question.
    'Are you ready?'
    My answer was, 'I'm ready. Lord help my unready.'
    I'm reminded that Abraham waited until he was past child bearing age for his promise to manifest. Moses waited for forty years, two times. David waited and battled for years and years between his call and his crown. Even Jesus had to wait for His Father to give the go ahead. So I guess I'll quit complaining and hold my arrow steady and keep my ear tuned to the commander.

  7. Learning to trust God's timing is such a huge part of life, especially the writing journey. I've been there, holding the arrow, and as inexperienced and overenthusiastic author (more so than now! LOL!), releasing it too soon only to find the arrow poorly aimed or landing short of the target. Understanding I can trust the timing of the Commander's call, 'Release,' has been liberating and has led me on exciting adventures I'd have never dreamed of if I'd kept firing my arrows prematurely. Great blog. Thanks, Simon.

  8. I am right there in that conversation. I've even had that same conversation with God. I know we're supposed to wait for His timing. But I like my timing which is now. God waits until we are fully ready. As you said by the end of your fantastic post. But our nature (with computers, iPhones, social media) shows that we have a I WANT IT NOW! mentality. Haha. I loved the question you asked at the end. I hope I am ready. I'm a work in progress molded by the King of Kings. Surely I will be.

  9. Terrific metaphor, Simon. The waiting can be very frustrating, that's for sure, and trusting in God's perfect timing takes courage and focus as well as patience. As others have mentioned, I, too, can see that God has honed and sharpened me as I have honed and sharpened my writing. I am looking forward to His 'release' command and thankful for the arm (and character) muscles He's strengthened during the 'hold'. Your post is even more poignant now that you've added the Safe Harbour television miniseries to your literary credits. Oh, and my grandchildren love Songs with Simon.

  10. That’s an awesome image, Simon. I’m one of those people who struggle to get the timing right. Too soon, too late - you name it ;). Right now I feel as if I’m moving forward, getting ready to engage again, praying distractions won’t lead to further misfires.