As a child, Mr. Milligan’s truck filled with produce and convenience store items came through our neighborhood each day. I could buy ten pieces of molasses-nut candy for a nickel. Okay, I’m showing my age. The convenience-store concept and the economics of sugary sweets has changed in drastic ways over the past 50 years. In fact most things change. However, some circumstances never seem to change.
One thing that really grieves me is the number of incredibly talented people and the extremely limited number of slots leading to successful careers. In watching current, must-see TV shows like “American Idol” and now the “X-Factor,” we must marvel at the number of people who are great talents. But there can only be one winner. One star to emerge.
Along the same lines, about once a week, someone approaches me to solicit my help in writing a book for them. I love this part of what I do. However, I find that great stories are too-often valued at a rate of 50 years ago, “a nickel for ten.” Almost without exception, the stories are notable and worthy of publication. Yesterday, I spoke to a world-class surgeon who was raised in Cuba by the communist party because he had no family. After reaching the top of his medical career, he found Christ and realized that God desired that he share the gospel. He left his medical practice and came to the US to study the Scriptures and attend seminary. He now pastors a small Spanish church in Melbourne, Florida–hidden from the world but happy to be able to fulfill his destiny in Christ.
Max Lacado’s advice to would-be writers has been write, write, write. You may be published. You may not be published. However, the exercise of writing about the Lord will strengthen your relationship with Him. Lacado also says, “Don’t give up your job. Almost no one is able to make a living as a Chrisitan writer.” Excellent advice from a successful and highly respected author.
A 1950’s TV series, The Naked City, once captured the imagination of our nation with one line. “There are 8 million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them.” Everyone has, at least, one story to tell. Most people have many. Yet, we will personally be exposed to only a few of these life-changing adventures, unless we make part of our life, inquiring about the past and current events of others.
Jesus’ encounters with people remains life changing because he is interested in an intimate relationship with us. Even though he knows my life-story from the beginning to end, while he could rehearse the circumstances of each movement, he desires that I communicate with him. No detail is too intimate. No adventure too stark. No quiet pause bores Him. You–your story–is important to Him.
In His eyes, you will never be simply another tale-well-told. You aren’t a nickel for ten. You are a great prize for which He was willing to die, rather than lose you or your story.