This article is an entry in the MAI Devotional Writing Contest.
By Daniel Nalbantski, Bulgaria
I have lots of fun writing novels. I feel the master of my protagonists’ destiny. I can do with them anything I want: I could make them talk the way I’d talk, and do things I’d do. I could kill them without me being sent to jail. I could let them into a bank and come out with bags of money. I could make them bankrupt even if they were very rich. As an author I cross out, give up on some events, insert others, put one protagonist’s lines in the mouth of another.
It’s not the same thing in real life. I’ve no right to turn things back, to cancel or correct. What I’ve done cannot be changed. It’s the same with all of us. Those who married the wrong person cannot simply say “I’m sorry” and leave. Those who insulted cannot take their words back. Those who killed cannot get the victim’s life back. Life is a book that cannot be corrected.
What inspires me is that God acts as an editor who lets me correct my life. He forgives my sins and gives me new opportunities. As if every time he tells me: “My friend, let’s start anew. I don’t like that. Let’s try it another way.”
I often reread the story from Acts 2 about those people who listened to Peter’s sermon and felt a rising terror because of what they’d done; they feared they’d be stricken by God’s anger on the spot. This made them cry out: ‘Brothers, what shall we do?” (v. 37) Peter didn’t reply: “There is nothing to do, sorry! Whatever you sow, you will reap!” On the contrary, he showed them how wide open the door to forgiveness and new beginning was.
As an author I need to finalize my novel one day and send it for printing. From that moment on my authority over my protagonists is over. It’s the audience’s turn and I’ll have to answer to their questions.
One day it’ll be all over. I’ll finish the book of my life. What will it be? Will my Heavenly Editor like it? He will, because we’ve written it together.
Merciful Father, thank You for the years You give me and for the corrections You want me to make into my life. Give me the strength to follow Your advice and be approved by You.
Daniel Nalbantski is the author and editor of the Manna Daily Devotional Guide. He is the author of six novels, a collection of short stories and a collection of newspaper articles, all of them dealing with Christian issues. He is married to Emilia and they have two daughters.