After my last post [Are You Too Busy to Hear What God Wants Next?], I heard from a friend on the other side of the world who had just received a copy of my latest book A Story Worth Telling — but was too tired to read it.
So even though he knew he needed to make some changes in order to live a story worth telling, the pace of his life was leaving him too tired to do it. So he asked an obvious question I think we all ask at times: what can I do when I am too tired for God?
What if you throw a party and no one comes? Is it still a celebration?
As I write these words, it is the morning of my book launch. A Story Worth Telling has been nearly two years in the making — more than that if you count the living-of-the-story part.
And we have worked hard to prepare for it. There have been a lot of long nights and early mornings and full weekends and questions from my youngest son like, “Daddy, when are you going to stop working?”
This morning I’m not scouring the Internet for any mention of the book. I’m not nervously reading reviews. I’m not watching sales numbers.
I’m pausing to reflect on just how good God is and why I need to celebrate more.
The Tyranny of the Next
In American culture, we seem enslaved by what I call The Tyranny of the Next. What we have now is never enough. What’s coming next is what captivates our hearts. New necessarily means better. New car. New job. New definition of marriage. Different is cool. Normal? Not so much.
I had always dreamed of writing a book. I know, some of you are thinking, I have that same dream while others are thinking, Who needs yet another book?
I empathize with both of you, actually. Now that I’ve written several books, both by myself and with others, the process isn’t nearly as mysterious as it once was. But it is not an easy task — at least not to write something someone will find worth reading.
Along this journey to write A Story Worth Telling: Your Field Guide to Living an Authentic Life, I examined every passage of Scripture referencing faith, belief, or trust. You name it, I’ve probably dismantled it.
And then to tackle such a topic that people much smarter than me have written about for centuries — well, it was a bit intimidating at times.
But the greater challenge was managing my time.
I encountered some verses in Psalm 16 this morning that got my attention for they seemed to ask me: “Do you always start the day with God before you?”
I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope…. You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (8,9,11)
When I asked myself that question, I confess that I didn’t like the awkward silence that followed. All too often I feel as if I am out in front, taking the lead and hoping that God can keep up. It’s silly, I know, but maybe you do the same thing from time to time?