The Accidental Pharisee

Monday, April 28, 2008

Fiction and Faith

"Life is God's novel. Let Him write it."

My friend, Kristen, likes to redecorate for the seasons. When spring comes along, she replaces the brown picture frames with white ones. She replaces her dark bedspread with a lighter one. She puts away the pine boughs on her mantle and displays white gerbera daisies in tin buckets.

I noticed a new sign up on one of her walls that read: "Life is God's novel. Let Him write it."

I loved it--and I told her that I did. How could the writer in me not?

Kristen took the sign off the wall and said, "I saw this and thought of you. But I wasn't sure if you'd like it. So, I decided to put it up and see if you noticed it. And, if you liked it, I'd give it to you."

So now I have a new sign to put up in my den.

And it's given me a lot to mull over.

You see, right now I've wandered away from my non-fiction writing roots and I'm having fun writing fiction. Don't get me wrong--writing a novel is hard, hard work. I'm developing a plot and characters and conflict. And at some point I have to make all of this come together and make sense.

One thing I am working on is my characters' relationships with God--and I haven't even completely worked out my own relationship with God. How ironic is that?!

I'm deciding how well they know God. How well they understand grace--do they "get it" or don't they? Letting them work it out lets me work it out on paper.

Which brings me back to the gift from my friend.

If I could change one little word on the sign Kristen gave me, I would change the word "novel." Life isn't God's novel. It isn't make believe. Life is reality. And it's all the more important that I let God be part of writing my story.

Just Thinking Out Loud: This Accidental Pharisee has fun being the one in control of the beginning, middle, and the end. I like being the one who controls the conflict--and being able to make certain there is a "happily ever after" at the end of my story. But I need to remember that God is the one in charge of my life story--and be willing to submit to His will for my life. I need to accept it when life isn't all about happy endings--and still be able to trust God.

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