I’m currently heavy into writing the first full-length Carnton novel (title yet TBD). Each day when I begin writing, I reread what I’ve written the day before. It’s part of my routine. It helps me to get back into the flow of things, plus I have a pretty wicked editor inside me that I have a tough time shutting down.
I tweak here and there. Remove sentences. Move things around. Delete information that either the character—or perhaps the reader—ended up not needing to know at that point in the story.
Perhaps a paragraph slowed the pace or simply wasn’t crucial to the scene. So, it has to go. I move that portion of text to my Carnton 1 Excerpt file. (I’ve learned not to permanently delete it lest I find I do need it down the line.)
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could do that kind of editing with life?
Simply review life and decide, “Um, no. Let’s not do that there. Let’s move that here.” Or… “This event would be much better if I knew this first, then that happened.” Or “Doing it this way will fit much better with my schedule and will accommodate fill-in-the-blank much better then.” Then there’s the “Gracious! Let’s not let that happen at all!”
But as we all know, life doesn’t work that way.
Life simply comes. Sometimes in sputters, sometimes in a gentle flow, and sometimes in torrents. And we deal with things as they come with God’s strength. While, in His masterful grace, He helps us maintain our eternal perspective.
But you know, in the midst of everything––the highs and lows of life, the “troughs and peaks” as C.S. Lewis phrases it in The Screwtape Letters––it’s definitely the thinner times of life, the troughs, that draw me closer to God. That make me more dependent on the Holy Spirit. And that, frankly, make me more like Christ.
The Screwtape Letters is a “life book” for me. A forever book. Do you have those? Books you’ll read again and again? That have become a part of you? That you’ll carry with you into eternity?
Chapter 8 is a favorite. Back in college, I memorized most of that chapter (on troughs and peaks), and though my memory isn’t what it used to be (#understatement) the following portion of that chapter is still tucked inside me. Still resonates.
My first copy of this book—held together by a rubber band now—is dear to me. Its words still instruct me after all these years. And more than ever, I firmly believe that nothing happens to a follower of Christ that doesn’t first filter through the loving hands of their Heavenly Father. Nothing.
So, I’ll leave the “life editing” safely with the Master Storyteller. God writes with a point of view I simply do not—cannot—have. But it’s a point of view I trust implicitly—even when life is at its most difficult.
What about you? Do you have “life books” (other than the Bible, of course) that you’ve read and reread?
Blessings on your Tuesday,
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