Signs from God?

"I Want That One" Picture

I had a bad time writing the other day. It was late afternoon, I had a few moments of quiet and tried to write a little on a project I am working on and immediately got stymied. Stuck. Like mud. No, more like quicksand with a bunch of fifth-graders laughing at me. It was really bad.

"I Want That One" PictureNo more than an hour later a friend confided that he was meeting someone in the industry to talk about his writing, and maybe get a contract out of it.

I stood there listening, but all I could feel was the blood pooling in my chest. A strange feeling–was this jealousy? Was it failure? Envy? No, it was like missing the bus, standing on the curb, watching it pull away from me.

So, being a Christian-kind-of-guy, I wondered: what should I take from this? Was this a sign from God? A sign to quit writing? A sign to give up on my dreams of fiction? I sign that I should have done more and sooner? Maybe a sign to keep writing?! Yes, that would be excellent!

But after a beer and a restless night of sleep I realized it wasn’t a sign at all. It was just a friend’s good fortune, a friend’s networking efforts paying off, a friend pursuing the same dream as me and catching a break, just like a break I caught once that put my name in print for the first time.

We Christians fall into seriously deep traps when we think everything is a sign from God, that there is a secret message to every event in our lives. Truth be told, that’s not really Christian at all. That’s superstition. That’s closer to what Dan Brown believes, not what Christ teaches and the Church Confesses.

Does God send signs? Probably. Does the devil do counterfeit signs? Yes. Can we tell which is which and what is simply our own powers of deception, our own longing for some celestial message? No. Ok, rarely.

No, I will go with what Scripture has revealed. I will use the gifts God has given me. I will write what I want, and I will write for my own enjoyment, and maybe my family’s. I’m not going to discover hidden signs and meaning behind stuff. I’m just going to work to the glory of God.

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