Nathan, 6th grader, winning 200m in Hershey, PA
I admire my nephew's ability. Especially since I don't have the stamina or the grace to run. But I can imagine it: Taking off as a pistol fires, pacing oneself so you don't overtax yourself at the beginning and lose momentum as you go along, always focusing on the prize--crossing the finish line. Sometimes watching videos of Nathan's races, I find myself holding my breath or gasping as if I'm the one running the race. Kind of silly, but it's easy to get caught up in the moment.
Although I'm not a runner, I'm facing a finish line at the moment--the ending of another story. I'm at the three-quarter mark. I know what threads need to be tied together to bring the story to a logical conclusion. "The End" is trembling in my fingertips. And I'm finding myself gasping as the end nears. But they aren't happy gasps, I hate to admit. They're fear-filled gasps.
You see, whenever I reach this point of a story, I start to second-guess myself. I start looking at what's been written and think things like, "Oh, these characters are so flat," or "The plot doesn't make sense," or "There's no real spiritual meaning to this story." All of these ponderings usually end with me deciding the entire thing is just drivel and why did I ever think I could be a writer. I do it with every story. (And I understand I'm not the only author with this end-of-the-story malady--I can't decide if that makes me feel better or worse. *sad smile*
But just as my nephew has been given a task to complete--namely, finishing the race--God has given me a task to complete. He called me to write. He planted the story seeds in my imagination. He has a purpose for the journeys through which these characters travel. My "I-can't-do-this" routine is an attack of discouragement that can prevent me from completing the race. Just as no runner wants to quit before he crosses the finish line, I don't want to quit before my characters find their place of growth and change.
The first two verses of Hebrews 12 speak well to this situation: "Therefore, ...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith."
When I take my eyes off the reason I write--to glorify God--and start thinking about me and my fumbling abilities, that's when I lose my momentum. To plow past the "can't-do-it" I have to look up, remember Who set me on this journey, and allow Him to work through me to complete the race He's marked out for me.
Nathan, college competition, freshman year
May God bless you muchly as you journey with Him! ~Kim