“How’s your book coming?”
A wry smile and dancing eyes…he sits there. I suppose he is waiting for a response, but more I think he is looking for my reaction. I gather myself.
”It’s really good. I’m just starting to read a new one that I’ll be teaching in our next Sunday school class.”
And then I started chuckling as he frowned and then laughed with me.
“Probably not the book you were talking about, was it Paul?”, I asked.
At this point, Wally looked around the table, turning to Jim and asked what in the world were we talking about. I explained that Paul was asking me how I was doing on the book that I have been planning to write…for the past three years. And then Paul asked the critical question…
“What’s the book going to be about?”
That is the question that I struggle with! I think my problem is that I have too many books in my brain and I can’t get my mind around the story that I want to tell first. And so I wait. I hesitate. I put off making a decision. Jim suggested that I call my book, “Mark’s Great Procrastination!” but I vetoed that idea. I want so much to write the “right” book that I’m wallowing in a quicksand of indecision. It seems the harder I think about what the book should focus on, the blurrier the picture is for me.
• A book of my arrest and incarceration?
• A story of the childhood abuse and consequences?
• A story of healing and restoration?
• A story of love and grace?
• A “factional” novel?
• A collection of letters between God and myself?
My sister, who is a gifted writer, has suggested that I just begin to write and the story will develop. Paul agrees with her (maybe the big hug at the Christmas concert established a connection with those two). I’m a control freak (I’ve discovered) and I feel like I need to the know destination before I start the journey.
But I know that it’s time. There have been too many signals in the past month for me to continue waiting. There is a purpose for my life and God keeps reminding me that He wants me to tell the story. And I think He’s told me what story He wants me to begin with. I was challenged several weeks ago as I listened to one of our pastors speak to our men’s group. His topic was pornography and how destructive it is (a story I know only too well). He finished his message that morning with a question to the group.
“How many of you would be willing to help, or talk with, someone who is struggling with pornography in their life?”
I raised my hand because I am more than willing to talk to people about what I’ve gone through. But the Spirit is nudging me…no, whacking me along side the head to write the story. And so that’s where I’m going to begin this new adventure. And as I look at my list of potential books, it may include parts of all of them. And I guess that’s OK. This is perhaps a time where I need to place the pen in my hand and let it do the driving. Sometimes, those are the greatest trips of all!