Why I’ll Never Write a Book or The Dangers of Comparisons

April 26, 2011 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

In the last 6 months I have had literally 100’s, no, dozens, no, pairs of people ask me if I’ve ever thought about writing a book.  Let’s all close our eyes and imagine what that would be like, shall we?  Well, first of all, an even mediocre author knows better than to tell readers to close their eyes and then describe something in writing.  Secondish, speling and the use of real words are very important (note, that sentence was ironical) 3rdly, have you ever noticed the sheer volume of pointless rambly parenthetical and/or voice in my head conversations on this blog?  “No of course I haven’t.  Whom in there rite mind would read this blog twice?”  Agreed.  (My top nominations for people who will get totally annoyed by the intentional misspellings and bad grammar–my wife and my mom.  The wildcard is Lisa Fischer from the Morning Rush in Central Arkansas on B98 She and the other host Jeff Matthews are the most famous people I know in real life.  Hmm, let me think about that.  I may need to make a list and see how that plays out)

See what I mean.  What would a book made up of that look like? Rambling inanity, insanity and vanity.  However, I would honestly like to do that some day.  I have two in my head–one on dad’s raising daughters and the other on having a theology that moves beyond overly simplistic catch phrases.  I think I would enjoy the challenge of doing that.  Maybe some day (sentence fragment, consider revising).

Anywho, so I’ve got a small group that I meet with on Monday.  We are reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.  If you haven’t read that book, you should.  It is incredible.  He takes controversial topics that Christians debate and in about 5 sentences obliterates opposing arguments.  He does it with a writing style that is both incredibly intelligent and humorous.  He is an unbelievably talented author.  Every time I read a section of that book, I think, “There is no way I should write a book, not when there are authors like this out there.  My drivel would just stink up the place.”

When I think that, I am [mostly] kidding.  What is true is that I am overwhelmed by his talent and gifting and wish that I could write that.  I feel vastly inferior to him.  Truth be known, my writing ability is vastly inferior.  However, all of this kind of thinking is at best pointless and at worst destructive and dishonoring to God.

You see, God has uniquely gifted me and impassioned me.  He has made me what I am.  He chose to give me certain gifts and certain desires and passions.  My responsibility is to use those to be the man that God has called me to be, not to look around at other people that I wish that I could have been and try to be the best “them” that God has called “them” to be.

We waste a lot of emotional energy wishing that we had been made differently or wish we were as good at something else as someone else.  God has entrusted each of us with incredible gifts and talents.  He certainly is not wishing that I was as great a writer as C.S. Lewis or leader like Andy Stanley or visionary like Rick Warren (please don’t derail this by saying you don’t like either or both of those guys.  They have tremendous giftings as leaders and visionaries. You can rant on someone else’s blog about whether or not you think they are using those gifts in the right way.).

If he had wanted me to be any of those things, you know what he would have done?  Lean in. (Overly dramatic whisper voice) He would have made me that way.  God chose to give me certain gifts and not others. God has done the same for you.  There are no upper tier gifts and lower tier gifts.  You don’t ever get to say to me, “I’m just a ________.”  You are not “just” anything.  You are exactly what God made you.

Make the most of what God has given you.  Be the person God has called you to be.  Whether you be write gooder or not.