One day, going through a new neighborhood, I came upon a beautiful tree-lined avenue. As I marveled at the symmetry of urban planning, my enjoyment was punctuated by a construction site where a building was just going up. Rods were sticking out of giant beams, the sinewy scaffold seemed to be trying in vain to trap down the building shooting into the sky with particular vulgarity. In short, the place was a huge mess and my mind became filled with the unwelcome interruption of the unsightly construction site. Being a writer who likes to collect original expressions from the things around me, I began to look for a metaphor in this experience.
Some months passed before I went by that way again. To my utter amazement there stood an imposing edifice towering above everything else in its majestic resplendence. I wondered why I had not seen it earlier and began to blame the unsettling metaphor of the construction site for having truncated my enjoyment of the lovely neighborhood, and to look out for it with a bit of trepidation.
I had circled the beautiful structure the second time before I realized that this was the same spot where I had encountered the eye sore just a few months before—I had found my metaphor!
A lot of the times we can be going through a construction phase and it can look like a hopeless mess all around us. All our writing lives may be summed up in terms of abandoned stories, unvisited storylands, mangled manuscripts, unattended conferences, and mere dreams of doing big things for God’s kingdom through storytelling, but we are reminded daily through Apostle Paul’s commendation to us, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2: 10).”
We are clay in His hands, works-in-progress, construction sites underway! Each of us has been created in a special way and is still being molded daily so as to be able to accomplish pre-appointed good works. And if we are patient with ourselves —and with others—and allow God to complete His work in us, we will be amazed at the beauty He has planned for our construction sites. If we are unrelenting in the pursuit of our calling, our lives will become edifices others can point to.
Dear Lord Jesus, open my eyes to see daily what you plan to accomplish on the earth through the stories I write. Help me, too, to be still and wait while you finish your work in me. Amen.
Fifi Edem has a burden for Christian fiction in West Africa. A lawyer and book editor, she enjoys working with writers to bring forth life-changing stories to the world. She is the editor for Christian Monthly Library (for West Africa). You can read her blog posts at www.christianmonthlylibrary.org
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