There have been occasions in my life when I’ve been consumed by fear. Fear that I’m not good enough, that my dreams will never come true, that I’ll sound like an idiot, my children will turn out to be hellions, my parents will move in with me, I’ll have to move in with my parents. Bed bugs, poisonous snakes, and spiders.
I am a person of faith. I don’t talk about that much here, but my faith is something that deeply affects my writing both in process and content, even if I don’t really write religious stuff. To me, writing is an act of faith. We don’t know exactly how things will turn out, but we believe our writing can be great and we act on that belief. If we didn’t have at least some amount of faith in that, we wouldn’t write. Faith is not just belief, but action.
I think sometimes people think if they have “faith” then whatever it is they want will work out or whatever it is they fear will never happen. But really that’s just wishful thinking. Faith is much deeper than that.
I’m going to quote The Bible, okay? Don’t freak out. Whether you’re religious, agnostic, or atheist, you have to admit the bible has some pretty kick-butt stories in it. Seas parting, living inside a giant fish, and walking on water. One of my favorite stories is in the book of Daniel when these three guys named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego refuse to worship the gods and idols of King Nebuchudnezzar. (The bible has sweet names too.) And that mean old king threatens them with a burning fiery furnace. Harsh.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego practically scoff at his threat. “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us from out of thine hand, O King.” (Daniel 3:17)
And here’s the kicker…
“But if not, be it known unto thee O King, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (Daniel 3:18)
But if not…Now that is a statement of faith. They knew of the possibilities, they believed that God was capable of saving them, but they didn’t actually know what would happen. They stepped into that burning fiery furnace knowing that they very well could just burn and die.
Well if you want to know what really happens go get a bible and read it maybe. Just teasing. They survive the burning fiery furnace and Jesus is with them in the fire, and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego basically shock the Hell out of that king.
What does this teach us about writing and maybe life in general? We have amazing potential. The world is at our fingertips and opportunities are blossoming. The words I write will be amazing. The stories I pen will rock the house and everyone will read it and love it and, Wahoo! I will be on the best-seller list.
But if not, I will keep writing. I will not let fear get the better of me and my fingers will always reach for a pen or the keys. My mouth will always open and refuse to close, even though there is a risk that I may sound like an idiot. My faith will overcome my fear.