Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pebble in My Shoe

My sister is reading The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. I've never read it, but I run with crowds that have. My sister mentioned something about the journey, or the quest, or something, and I shook my head and said, "Man. When I write a book, it's not going to be full of journeys. I'm going to say, 'They decided to travel to the city,' and then the next sentence will be, 'After they arrived, they took x, y, and z action.' I'm so bored of books that read, 'They decided to travel to the city. After one hour of traveling, the protagonist got a pebble in his shoe...'"

I must confess that I thought the above proclamation so clever and funny that my idolatrous heart kept bringing it to the forefront of my mind so I could silently congratulate myself for my wit. Repeatedly. Oh, I am so witty.

But one day, my mental celebration took a turn. I began re-reading The Belgariad by David Eddings, and I found myself very much enjoying the detailed stops along the quest upon which the characters were intent. Even the pebbles in their shoes. Especially the pebbles in their shoes, in fact. Each little conflict added entertainment and moved the story along.

I realized that when I write, my heroine will have to take a mental, physical or emotional journey of some kind, because if she doesn't, I won't have any vehicle for describing her growth as a character. She can't develop over time if she's stagnant. This was not a new realization, of course, but for the first time, I looked forward to writing her journey.

I could feel God watching me put two and two together. I'm on a journey, of course. As are you. Right now, I feel like I've only gone one hour, and all I can see is the pebble in my shoe. Oh, bother. Skip to the end, please.

But God will not.

Oswald Chambers states it succinctly in the July 28 entry of My Utmost for His Highest:

It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God.

God's training is for now, not later. His purpose is for this very minute, not for sometime in the future. We have nothing to do with what will follow our obedience, and we are wrong to concern ourselves with it. What people call preparation, God sees as the goal itself.

If we have a further goal in mind, we are not paying enough attention to the present time. However, if we realize that moment-by-moment obedience is the goal, then each moment as it comes is precious.

Abba, please help me to walk faithfully with this pebble in my shoe, and may it form the calluses my feet need to be Yours completely.