“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 ESV).
Sometimes we lose ourselves. This is a tragedy, because there is no one else like us. We are a carefully handcrafted poem, a sacred text composed by God’s artistry, a vivid illustration of his workmanship—God’s poiema, a vibrant and living work in progress, his masterpiece.
I lost myself this year. When I set out on this trek to write for God’s glory, I had a clear view of my purpose, a strong sense of God’s leading, and a firm grasp on my message. But then my literary career didn’t follow the trajectory I had hoped and planned. I had thrilling successes followed by crushing rejections. This wasn’t what I had envisioned.
Victories occurred all around me throughout the year, but I couldn’t see them. Instead, my eyes were fixed on the outcomes over which I had no control.
I grew confused. I wasn’t sure what “they” wanted. I aimed at fuzzy targets. Setting aside my poetry and my unique message, I got out the cookie cutters, hoping to please. I felt stymied. I lost my drive. I had no words. I grew discouraged. Something was terribly wrong.
In the middle of the setbacks, I forgot that I am a love sonnet, rather than a wadded up piece of discarded scribbling.
In believing the lie of my worthlessness, I hit an obstacle and veered off God’s path. To believe the lie is to be rendered incapable of being who I am, who God designed me to be. I asked Jesus to straighten my course.
Jesus himself is the archetype, the epitome of all we should be. He himself is our goal. However, our transformation into his likeness does not eradicate our uniqueness.
Designers envision their work. Before Jesus created any of us, he planned his purpose for each one. He drew up the blueprint and laid down the foundation before he spoke a word into the void. Then he set his plan into motion. Each person plays a part; each is completely necessary.
When he shapes and crafts us, he gifts us according to his purposes. Bringing in the right mix of trial and heartache, success and failure, experience and desire, he hones and refines. Each person is designed to fulfill the tiny slice of human history given as our role. Our time on stage is brief.
If I try to play someone else’s part, my task remains undone. I must be me, not another. When I attempt to be someone else, I am telling the Author that he doesn’t know what he’s doing.
We each have a significant role to play. I must be me. You must be you. It is imperative!
So, here is my resolution:
I will not lose myself. I will be true to who I am, true to this specific piece of God’s artistry that I am.
I will stay on the path God has set for me. I will listen to the inner voice—my sense of story and rhyme and reason, my conviction of what God wants me to say and how he wants me to say it, my conscience as it urges me to say it rightly, and the feeling in my gut that I have said it well.
I will move at the pace God has set for me. I will not lose hope, though the way is long and the path is daunting. I will trust in God for the results.
That is all I can do. That is everything I can do.
I am resolved.
What about you? Down what path does God lead you? What type of poetry is he making of your life? Are you staying the course?[Need more encouragement? Read Creating Space: The Case for Everyday Creativity by Ed Cyzewski, a quick read that will uplift you and get you going again.] [Blueprint picture: FreeDigitalPhotos.net]