I GOT A CALL FROM AN EXCITED EDITOR last week. He had an off-the-wall idea for a book.
I told him so: “That’s off the wall. Is marijuana legal in your state?”
He laughed, but never answered the question.
I looked it up later. It’s legal in his state, but only for medicinal purposes.
Marijuana has been identified as an effective treatment for migraine headaches. I know for a fact that Christian editors get plenty of headaches.
So I’m not sure where the editor’s idea came from, whether smoke or Spirit.
But I liked it.
He already has a book proposal from me that he said he hopes to pitch to the publishing committee this week.
But he asked me if I might be the guy to write this kind of incredibly visual book.
“I’m a word guy,” I said.
“I don’t think of you that way,” he said. “Not after seeing the books you’ve done.”
I do use a lot of pictures in most of my books. But the idea he was suggesting sounds like it might need a strong designer. At this point, I’m wondering if I can give them enough direction and images for their designer to pull this off, or if I’ll need to collaborate with a designer and split the royalty in some way – my agent would hate that.
When I get requests like this, the first thing I do is try to work up some sample text and roughly designed pages. It’s not so much for the editor as it is for me. I want to see if this is an idea I can pull out of thin air and create a book that would help Bible newbies better understand the Bible.
My head was spinning with Bible content…but struggling over how to paint it onto the canvas of pages in a book, even if they are only sketches for a designer.
So I thought a prayer would be in order.
A prayer before writing
Father, I don’t feel worthy of doing what I do for a living: writing books about you and the Bible.
Remember that pastor who told me his wife said he wasn’t good enough to be a pastor? I feel like him. Not good enough.
I know. It’s not my goodness that counts. It’s the goodness of Jesus, and the grace and mercy that comes of it.
Thanks for forgiveness and for letting me do this for a living in spite of the foul-ups I make along the way.
This particular book idea I’ve been asked to think about sounds wonderful and exciting.
But it scares me, too. It’s different than the kind of books I’ve written before. The very idea is already dragging me outside my comfort zone. And as I sit here talking with you, I’m wondering if it’s beyond my skill level, as well.
Your Spirit has been with me as I’ve created other books. I could feel ideas – and sometimes even specific words – dropping into my head like they had slipped through a crack in heaven’s floor. They felt like a welcome intrusion. They didn’t feel like they came from my hard work or my research, though I’ve certainly found those necessary for every book I’ve written.
Would you send your Spirit once again?
I need to see something in my head and then on my computer screen that doesn’t exist yet.
I am your creation, and now it is time for me to create.
You’re the Master of Color who signs his name with a rainbow in the sky. I can’t match that. But I want to.
I’m thinking, typing, and reading. And I’m waiting, hoping, and listening.
I’m not sure, did you just say, “Can you hear me now?”
Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a still, small voice and a distant memory.
If that’s you, I’m glad you’ve got a sense of humor. We could have used some of that in the Old Testament.
Father, help your boy. Oh, one more thing. Tell Dad I miss him and I miss those Saturday phone calls – especially when the Buckeyes are doing well.
For more about prayer
- Complete Bible Handbook, pages 189-191
- Complete Guide to the Bible, Student Edition, pages 88-90
- “Daniel nearly prayed himself to death,” Strange and Mysterious Stuff From the Bible, pages 81-82
- Prayer: Is it begging like a dog?
- Shameless persistence in prayer
Random book winners this week
- Jasen Thixton, he picked Big Dummies of the Bible
- Rajesh John, he picked 100 Tough Questions About God and the Bible
I give away free books each week to randomly selected subscribers to my free blog and quarterly newsletter. I forgot to add their names to Friday’s blog article. So here they are today.
Jasen and Rajesh were random last week.
Bible Gateway Blogger