Blogger: Wendy Lawton
Location: Round Top, Texas
Yesterday at our meeting here in Texas I gave the morning meditation. It was titled, “So What Do You Want?” Earlier this year I read the account in Mark 10:51 of Jesus leaving Jericho, followed by a large crowd. A blind beggar, Bartimaeus, called out loudly, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me.” The crowd tried to shush him– it was embarassing– but he persisted. Jesus told them to bring the man to him. I can just picture the scene: Jesus, the miracle worker, looking at this blind man standing before him. You’d think with the crowd pushing in and the whole entourage trying to get on the road Jesus would just reach out and heal the man but instead he did a curious thing. He said, “What do you want?”
Why do you suppose it was important for this man to put his request into words?
There’s an important lesson for all of us here. We need to be specific about what we want. the Bible says, ask and the door shall be open. Hmmm. sounds like a promise. So how do we apply that to our quest for a career as a writer?
Just as we, as agents at Books & Such, write specific goals, it is important for writers to be just as intentional. Dreaming big is engaging the imagination. What can you dream if you take away the fear of sounding foolish. And how far can go if you are willing to risk big? Then say it out loud.
At first you will couch it in all kinds of disclaimers. “If it’s not too much to ask. . .”, “I don’t want to seem greedy, but. . .”, “If it be your will, Lord.” (This one goes without saying.) Don’t hem and haw. Just ask.
My friend, New York Times #1 Bestselling author, Debbie Macomber, has long known the secret of boldly asking. She showed me her journal entry from January 1, 1977 where she said, “The deepest desire of my life is to somehow, some way be a writer. I should start with the pages of this journal to practice for the future. And the most important thing in my life is to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, my Savior.” Debbie committed her dream to words. More than that, she asked for it.
She’s been a proponent of writing down goals and dreams for a long time. Of asking. If you’ve ever heard her speak you’ve probably seen her hold up a colored index card she rediscovered on which she had boldly written a list of outrageous dreams — all of which had long since come true. She often hands out colored index cards to everyone in the audience and waits while they pen some of their most audacious dreams. I still have mine tucked in a pocket of my folio inside my purse. It’s an exercise in asking.
I’m not going to request that do your asking here in the blog comments since it’s not me who is asking the question, “What do you want?” I’m going to encourage you to be bold, take a risk and go to that Man who stopped by the roadside in Jericho to help a blind Bartimaeus put his dream into words.
Ask. It’s powerful stuff.
I recently found a list of goals I had typed out years ago and then forgotten about them. It was amazing to see how many of those goals I had met without even reviewing them all these years!
And I think God likes really specific goals. Not just “Lord, help me be a writer,” but, “Lord give me a voice that earns a spot on the NYT best-seller list and brings thousands of hearts closer to God.” I have a tendency to be vague or general in what I ask for. As if God will be annoyed if I get too specific with Him!
What a great post, Wendy. I had to do this recently, and it’s not always an easy thing–especially for a control freak like myself. But I can honestly say that God started off my career, and I know if He means for me to keep writing He will provide the means for me to do it.
Thanks for another inspiring post.
I’ve not written out specific goals before, but I did just now. I’m asking big! Thanks for the encouragement.
Crystal Laine Miller
First, I guess you have to know “what do you want?”
I’ve been reading Debbie’s books, and she went through some tough times, taking great faith, to get what she wanted, almost giving up at times. So, I’m guessing that once you boldly ask for what you want, you never waver in your mustard seed of faith that it will be a “yes.”
I love this and being specific about asking God for the desires of your heart. This is a great series that I needed to hear right now.
Even just to ask is a leap of faith. To say in the quiet of my own prayer time, “I want…” seems to open me up to guilt and doubts. How dare I ask Him anything? Hasn’t He already done enough for me? And yet He wants me to ask, to trust, and to be vulnerable enough to declare what we both already know to be true. Yes, I have dreams and desires, and yes, many of them are far beyond my reach. But God didn’t save me so I could spend the rest of my life in timid obscurity. He saved me so I could be a voice. Paul prayed that doors would be opened for him to share the gospel. How is it different that I pray that God open doors for me, and then fill my heart, my mouth, my fingers and word processor with inspiration to draw people nearer to Him. And yet I still sometimes struggle in the asking.
Thanks for the reminder!
colleen laquay urbaniuk
a couple of years ago i heard a preacher on television talk about everyone wishing for a millions. “oh, i’d do that, if i had a million dollars.” or “i’d go there, if i had a million dollars.” ask anyone, what they’d do if they won the lottery or received an inheritance and you’d get a thousand different ways to start spending the money. the problem is, everyone has the start but few have the finish. “i’ll pay off my house, my bills, put money away for college…” the list is typical. but RARELY if ever, does this even get close to the million dollar mark. God wants to know the details. if i give you this gift/talent/resource what will you do with it? will you start with enthusiasm but get sidetracked/lost/uninterested? that’s the real question. that’s the question i wrestle with daily. why should God give me more, when i’ve not even used wisely what i have? setting clear goals. writing down a real plan, not just a vague wish. “write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets” Habakkuk 2:2 thanks for reminding me of this.
p.s. one of my outlandish dreams? to meet Debbie Macomber. she is an inspiration to me!!!
It might just be me but I’m totally getting “filled up” on my blog rounds today. 🙂
For me the key component to asking is this: “What can you dream if you take away the fear of sounding foolish.” Such a great question to meditate on since most times I censor myself because I think…”there’s just no way…”
Loved this post!
When we ask God for something specific — and outrageous — there is no doubt who to thank when it comes to pass.
BEAUTIFUL!! Absolutely loved this! I had to copy and paste and put it in a doc as a reminder. Loved the Bible reminder. Loved the story about Debbie. Thank you for sharing, Wendy.
Wow, this is such a necessary reminder. It’s true! I get blase’ with prayer requests, thinking God knows what’s on my heart. Of course He does, but it’s important to specifically ask.
Thank you for this post!