Maybe Jason is supposed to be working a different job that pays a lot better and offers better benefits.
Maybe I'm supposed to be doing something other than writing. After all, that's not really paying off.
Maybe the Lord opened a door somewhere along the way, and we were too distracted to notice.
Maybe I need to market more.
Maybe I need a part-time job.
Maybe we're just really unlucky.
Maybe, maybe, maybe. . .
When questions and confusion abound, I find myself looking for solutions. I try to make things work. I strive to "fix" the problem. And typically, I begin with evaluating my writing. On a good day, when I'm thinking clearly, I have no doubt that the Lord has called me into this writing ministry. On a bad day, however, I think I must have misunderstood the directions somewhere along the way. Sure, I'm writing, but what good is it doing? It's not making money, that's for sure. I'm not selling books. Are people even reading what I'm writing? What's the point of writing books if I can't sell them? My poor little finite brain cannot comprehend why God would call me into a ministry that doesn't make any money and seems to have so little impact.
But the fact that I don't understand my calling hasn't stopped God from trying to explain it, just like He did at my niece's graduation last Friday night. When the speaker stepped up to the podium, I was expecting words of wisdom to the graduates. I was anticipating a challenge to follow the Lord in their decisions and to seek to honor Him in all that they do. What I was not expecting, however, was a message that went straight to my heart. It was so obviously meant for me that halfway through, Jason leaned over and asked, "Do your feet hurt yet?" because he knew the speaker was stomping all over my toes.
So what was the profound message? Simply that in life, we ought to seek to please an Audience of One. God is the only One whose approval matters. God is the One we ought to obey. And furthermore, God is the only One who needs to understand what He is doing. It's all about Him, and that's all we need to know.
Who cares if my books don't sell? Who cares if no one reads my work? I'm not supposed to be writing for others, for fame or fortune. I'm supposed to be writing because that is what God called me to do. He didn't promise that I would make money at it or that the going wouldn't be rough. He did promise, however, that He would never leave me. He reads every word I write and influences the topics I choose for my blog postings and books. He is my Audience of One, and if I achieve nothing else with my writing, that's fine with Him, as long as I am faithful to the calling.
It's amazing how much more joy there is in my writing when I stop trying to make it something it's not. When I stop trying to make money with it. When I stop stressing over the sales or lack thereof. When I stop looking at how many people are reading my posts. When I just sit down and write, things are good. I feel at peace. I feel like I'm where I belong and that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. If only I could find a way to block the frustrations and confusions that cause me to try to do my own thing, maybe I'd get a lot more writing done and be a lot happier in the process.
I don't know what you're facing today. Perhaps, like me, you feel that your work is in vain. Maybe you've arrived at the place where you're questioning everything that once made sense. Perhaps you're ready to give in because it just doesn't seem worth it. Or maybe you're in the process of "fixing" things yourself. May I remind you that your only responsibility is to be faithful to that which God has called you to do? It doesn't matter what the results may be. It doesn't matter if the work seems in vain. It doesn't matter if no one notices or appreciates what you do. You are performing for an Audience of One, and I guarantee you that He notices and appreciates every moment of faithfulness. Make it about Him today and leave the results in His hands. He can handle it!
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. - Matthew 6:33