by Alice H. Murray
(Proverbs 12:15 (NIV)).
The chapel at the Christian writers’ retreat resonated with the sound of voices singing praise to our Creator. My brain was bursting with writing tips, creative ideas, and words of wisdom. My heart was full of joy at new connections made, a clearer understanding of my God-given writing ability, and a sense of purpose to communicate God’s message. I felt challenged, yet determined.
Who would deprive herself of being in this situation? Me, of course. Why? Because I had been acting like a fool.
I had received information about an upcoming Christian writers’ retreat at an idyllic location an hour’s drive from home. The price was reasonable and the date was open on my calendar. But I didn’t think I needed to go. Though not published as an author of a book, I had plenty of article-writing accomplishments in my profession. I had won a national writing award in my youth and people regularly praised my talent. What could I learn at this writers retreat?
God worked on me, though, and I surprised myself when I decided to attend. He wanted to use me as a writer, but had to equip me for this calling.
The retreat revealed my ill-equipped state. The faculty advised me on how to polish my writing skills and navigate the publishing process. I also made friends who have encouraged me in my writing journey and brought writing opportunities to my attention. Even better, they prayed for me.
I joined a writers critique group whose members include fellow attendees from the retreat, and I regularly seek advice on how to improve my creative work from group members. My writing career has blossomed.
Looking back, I realize how foolish I was to dismiss the opportunity to receive advice from experienced writers. A wise writer seeks advice not only from the Author of our faith but from other writers.
Dear God, help me to avoid being foolish. Allow me to be open to advice from other writers and to seek advice from you so I can use my God-given talent for your glory. Amen.
Alice H. Murray is a lawyer by profession and a writer by passion. She is a staff writer for www.adoption.com and has written articles for legal professional magazines, her local paper, and a missions magazine. Alice’s work has been published in a Chicken Soup For the Soul book and in four books of the Short And Sweet compilation book series.