Jeremiah 29:11—13: I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will answer you. You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart.
I recently joined a newly formed camera club. At the second meeting, the lecturer taught us some techniques concerning our choice of subjects. He projected various photographs onto the wall, and explained what made them great pictures, or where their weaknesses lay. Each time, he emphasized the need for a focal point. There was no such thing as just a beautiful view. There was always a main focus, perhaps a beautiful rose, a sunset, or a ship.
He showed us a picture of a beautiful garden. Flowering shrubs and shaped hedges surrounded manicured lawns. Overhead, the sky was an azure blue with wisps of soft white cloud—a stunning photograph. High up in the sky, an eagle hovered.
I stood at one of the stalls at a craft market next to the national road. All over the ground were intricate wooden carvings of animals ranging from ten centimetre chameleons to two metre giraffes. Every one of these carvings was created by a skilled craftsman. We have no problem accepting that.
Imagine if I were to pick on a tourist and explain, “These just arrive here every weekend. No one makes them you know. They just create themselves out of dust.” My guess is that the tourist would put a speedy distance between us, and decide that some South Africans have very strange ideas. Yet some highly qualified people expect us to believe even more far-fetched ideas than this.
Nearly two years ago, I attended a continuing workshop at the Florida Christian Writers Conference. The workshop leader was Laura Christianson of the Blogging Bistro. She led us through a series of exercises in an attempt to establish a “tagline” for our writing.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5 NIV
Yesterday we saw how we were made in God’s image. Yet often, when I sit down to start writing a new article, I don’t feel that way. I can’t imagine God staring blankly at His creation, wondering what to do next. Yet I often sit and look at the blank screen in front of me and struggle to come up with a new idea. Eventually I start by typing out a few words. From there, I work step by step, creating what I hope will be a masterpiece. Sometimes I am pleased with the result. More often, I don’t like it one bit. At that point I have two options. I can hit delete and start over, or I can press on and try to improve on my article.
When Jacqueline Susann started to look for a publisher for this unusual novel, she received a rejection that said, “…she is a painfully dull, inept, clumsy, undisciplined, rambling and thoroughly amateurish writer whose every sentence, paragraph and scene cries for the hand of a pro. She wastes endless pages on utter trivia, writes wide-eyed romantic scenes …hauls out every terrible show biz cliché in all the books, lets every good scene fall apart in endless talk and allows her book to ramble aimlessly …”