I fell in love with reading when I was in grade five. I remember the book well. I happened upon it by chance. Science fiction that grabbed my imagination and transported me to a realm of endless possibilities. I was hooked. My aspiration as a young teen was to find an easy job that would provide me enough money to pay for a one room apartment, food and a book a day. I wanted to spend my life just reading.
I fell in love with writing the same day I fell in love with a girl. Oh, there was something that always pulled at me to write, since I was very young. I wrote a Gilligan's Island skit when I was in grade five for a class project. I was published by the time I was in grade six; a children's book illustrated by a fellow classmate. But the real love of writing did not take hold until I feel in love with a girl and suddenly the heart became my canvas.
Poetry was my choice of expression and my first poem was about my first love. Love, the light and dark sides, became my constant subject. I remember the thrill of my grade ten teacher reading that first poem and her reaction of asking me if I had really written it. She was amazed that this thing had come from me and I was stocked that she was amazed. She became my biggest support. My need for an audience was born.
All I really every wanted from life was to read and to write; to explore new worlds and to create them; to allow my pen to become a paint brush, to reveal what so many people miss in life. I wanted to contribute to the beauty of this world, the wonder of its imagination. But then something even more magical happened to me.
Jesus met with me and gave me an invitation I could not refuse.
Ever since that time I have explored a realm that is beyond most people's imaginations; even writer's. I realize how man has tried to anchor this realm in something tangible, something explainable, something concrete. But the Kingdom of God is far greater than any of man's attempts to express it, something that can only really be experienced when our spirit dances with God's. It is a place of incredible beauty and endless possibilities. It is a place where love shapes everything and acceptance pours down on us like rain. It is an inspiring place where we swim in the air of God's grace and joy is our constant companion. There are no chains here, no fences, no great walls or tiresome burdens. There is only trust, hope, faith, belief.
But what about my other great loves? What about the creativity that my God knit into my being? What about my great passion for writing and the talent that God gave to me? I got so lost in the corporate thinking of man's idea of the Church, I forgot. I became so pre-occupied as a middle manager of this corporation, I let it slip away. Did I lose the beauty of God's great gift of creativity, the wide open places with endless skies, to be lost in a city of great concrete structures where the sky is rarely seen and there is no place just to run?
These were my thoughts yesterday as I examined how to get back to the place God has called me to, and then I realized something. God is is sovereign. He never let's anything go to waste. As I mulled over these two things that I am certain about God, I realized some other things:
In the last ten years of my life, I have written at least ten books, if not twenty. Every day I meet with my readers to discuss our favorite subject: Jesus. I have written more than would have been possible any other way. Ten to twenty books have been birthed in me.
I get to paint vivid portraits on living canvases every Sunday as I tell stories about our incredible Jesus. As I share with the Body of Christ the wonder of our God and remind them with bright colours who he is and who we are to him, I get to allow my spirit to run in wide open spaces.
As for my love affair with my audience, I am the father of ten mind-blowing children. I am a man blessed beyond this world's comprehension. These are my real audience, the ones I get to share my life with every day, to create wonderful stories that will eventually be passed on to their children and hopefully to the children after them. The subject of these stories has never changed; it is still all about love. Only now, it is a love that goes beyond the limits of the human heart and imagination and explodes in a place of endless possibilities.
Oh, the wonder of our God and the mysteries of his ways! He doesn't waste anything.