Exploring the future through the present. One day at a time.
|One of my favorite books of the Bible is Ecclesiastes.
It begins thusly in verse 1:2 (NIV): "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless."
How often I feel that way as I trudge through my daily existence. I can't help but wonder if anything I do makes a difference. Truth is, everything is meaningless -- without God (which is the main point of Ecclesiastes).
But I digress.
A lot of people have what they call a "life verse." It's that one verse in the Bible that describes either who they are, who they want to be, how they see God, or how they want to see God. Sometimes it's a reminder about what they need to focus on as they trudge through their "meaningless" life.
I used to scoff at the idea of a "life verse." There is so much to the Bible and to life in general, that to boil it down to a single scripture seems closed-minded and short-sighted.
Until I found my own. It's Ecclesiastes 7:13 (NLT): "Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked?"
I'm anal. I like things just so. When a situation doesn't go the way I want, I morph into a toddler in the middle of a grocery store, flat on the floor and screaming my head off, because my mommy won't buy me that ice cream cone. I can't tell you how many times I've done the same to God when I don't get my way, or he wants me to do something I don't want to do. When I start to hold my breath and clench my fists at God, I remember that verse. He has made my life crooked. There are so many twists and turns, I know not what direction I'm traveling. But God knows, and I have to trust that he'll never lose me or lead me astray.
But again, I digress.
I decided to judge the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) 1st round Genesis Contest (a contest on the first 15 pages of an unpublished writer's first novel [I won said contest in 2010 in the speculative fiction category]).
I was given one entry to judge, and I have to admit I was shocked. Shocked, I tell ya!
It could have been written by me.
It wasn't the plot or the characters that I found so familiar. It was the writing style. The writer has the same strengths when it comes to dialogue and overall tension, but she made the same mistakes I always make -- lack of detail and description. The writer only used her eyesight to describe her world and the people in it. No sounds, no smells, or other sensations.
That another person would have the same writing issues as me made me feel not so alone. I hope the writer will take the advice I gave to heart, and that she will concentrate more on her weaknesses instead of depending on her strengths. Because when it comes to writing, our strengths can't cover up or carry our weaknesses. If anything, our strengths can make our weaknesses stand out more.
Which reminded me of Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV): "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."