By Carl Colbert
“His lord said unto him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
Confidence and Carl Colbert aren’t synonymous. My picture won’t appear on a magazine cover announcing the world’s most confident men.
I scribble a few words and my critique group praises them. An hour later, doubts seep in. Perhaps I can use their suggestions and build my confidence before I bring more words for the group to review.
I’m faking confidence. Maybe I’m not cut out for this writing thing. Am I good enough? Will they catch the humor? The pathos? Even now as I edit this, I feel unworthy to place one word in front of another. What message do I have to share?
I’m not alone in my self-doubt. Despite their successes, many famous writers and artists suffer from insecurity. Flannery O’Connor wrote in her prayer journal, “Dear God, I am so discouraged about my work … please help me, dear God, to be a good writer.” Ernest Hemingway, one of my favorite writers, claimed he rewrote the ending to Farewell to Arms thirty-nine times before he was satisfied.
I entered a writing contest with no expectations. The emcee announced, “And the first-place winner is Carl Colbert!” Did someone glue my feet to the floor? My legs resisted movement. My confidence took a baby step forward that night.
“And Jesus said…If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matthew 17:20, KJV).
My Dad told me we always get our due applause. We might have to wait until Heaven, but we will receive valid feedback to silence all doubts. If I must choose between worldly recognition now or divine applause later, I’d rather wait. Unseen awards prove a more challenging source of confidence, but a far more worthy anchor for my belief.
So I step out in confident faith and pen another piece. And another. Each work builds my faith and confidence.
Father, I commit my writing to you. Give me the assurance to write the words you inspire. May my words inspire others to seek you. Teach me to draft words in faith, knowing you are always there to support me through the process. Free me from my insecurities and help me to remember the only applause that matters is from You. Amen.
Carl Colbert—no relation to the famous comedian—is a new writer with a huge imagination. Well-read and varied in his experiences, Carl has regaled his daughters with stories from his Air Force and Air Guard career, his private technical vocation, and growing up amid the social turmoil of the 1960s and 1970s. This is his first attempt at devotionals.