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Friday, August 10, 2012

Pursue Your Passion - No Matter Your Age

Below is an excerpt from a workshop I presented at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference on August 5th. If you would like to obtain a CD of the entire workshop, or any of the other workshops presented at GPCWC, please contact me at starsongs.mag@gmail.com and I will be happy to email you an order form.

How many times have we heard “find your passion” as writers?

Whether on television talk shows, in church, or in inspirational books, we hear about worthy causes, from the persecuted Christian to social injustice to abuse of children. We embrace these causes, caught up in the moment, consumed by a fire that prevails for about as long as it takes to close the book or shut off the TV.

Does this make us bad or insensitive people? No! You are not expected to bear the burden of someone else’s agenda. Your passion may be for the young girl on your block who finds she is pregnant at 15.

How do we know we are traveling down the right road? How do we know we are hearing God’s voice?

Prayer is our checkpoint, the form of communication that serves as our spiritual GPS. We can pray in church, in the car, over coffee, with a companion, in the closet, or when in conflict with ourselves or others. We can pray from the cage of confinement.

Never been locked up?

Think again. We tend to create our own cement cellblock when we allow children, community, church, and any number of other things to bind us into chains of commitment.

How do we navigate out of the maze of meandering roadways that leaves us lost as we seek the way back to the main thoroughfare? What motivates us to market the right message?

We focus on Jesus. He jams our heads with ideas. How often we display the arrogance to assert our amazing story ideas as our own. They don’t come from us. They come from the One who designed us with the desire to write in the first place. Isaiah 50:4 says The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. 

Jesus raises the level of our indignation against injustice. He fills our cup when we join with him to ignite our readers with the message of His love. When we juxtapose our hearts with His, he rewards us with joy. When that joy radiates around us like warm sunshine, we know we’ve achieved our goal.

Even with divine guidance, if we attempted to write the story at seventeen or even twenty-five that we are now crafting at sixty, would it possess the necessary level of knowledge and maturity to sustain the sincerity it brings to the reader now?

As we older people look back on our lives, we realize that God has provided opportunities that have led us down the path that ignites our passion. We become more assertive as to our own identity. We gain self-confidence as we learn our place in the social order. As kids, we didn’t know who we were supposed to be hanging around with. When older, we learn to recognize true friendships – people who accept us for who we are.

come back for more of this presentation in future posts.

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