So, the other day a squirrel boldly invited himself to join friend Lori and I for lunch while sitting down by the pond at the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. We knew right away this was a street-smart campus squirrel that knew where to get the grub. His survival strategy worked like a charm – sit too near to a rodent-timid woman and she’ll throw food your way every time. Over and Over. He ate till he finally couldn’t move, except to waddle over to hoard the leftovers.
I felt much the same – too filled with a wealth of information in an overfed head from too many schedules, appointments, and workshops. So, what to do with it all?
This clever squirrel taught a lesson just by being a squirrel.
He chose the strawberries and hoarded the grapes for later. Sorting through piles of notes, I had to decide what was the strawberry and what was the grape? What did I want to ingest now and what did I want to store away?
Although I’ve attended the conference regularly for nearly three decades – this time, there was one instructor who spoke truth into me as though I had never been there. The sacred secret and holy reason to pick up a pen in Christian writing is to create with the Creator. Simple and deep.
When we create together with a pen, God’s voice dramatically fills the white space. Somehow direction becomes clear after chatting with Deity.
So, I asked the Father how He saw my writing. Naked.
Going a little further, I discovered my stuck and desert-dry place has been self-protection. Made sense.
And so, the next season of my writing is simple honesty, to know the story better in hope to share with others to do the same.
Breathing in fresh from the ancient, I looked to David the psalmist, who wrote beauty and sorrow onto the same parchment. He didn’t hoard the journey but instead wrote it down to pass down and down.
Because He created with the Creator – he knew his story.
Hoarding means to accumulate in a hidden or carefully guarded place for preservation, future use. I wondered if the life-gems recorded in my journal were hoarded or preserved. What would compel me to wipe the dust off decades of writings stored in the abyss of a desk drawer? The amazing and liberating truths I learned at the conference.
So, thank you Allen Arnold, the gifted teacher who awakened a writer’s heart. Thank you faculty-mentors who faithfully serve each year to make this a great conference.
And thank you most of all conference director, Marlene Bagnull, who tirelessly and generously has made her life’s work and mission to help others Write His Answer – to encourage those who have been called to write, not to hoard, but to publish the good news to a needy world.
And thank you hungry squirrel for the good – bad example.