I’ve been thinking about writing, Jesus and authorship lately. As an author, I understand what it is like to have control over a piece of work. (At least, I understand how this feels for a non-fiction book. I understand that writers of fiction often experience little control over their characters.)
Whether I am writing fiction or non-fiction, I am the one who comes up with the original idea or plot. I set down the words which turn into chapters which eventually turn into a book. Then, as the author, I get to decide if the book has turned out the way I wanted.
As an author, I can consult with others who will help me improve the book. I can hire an editor to pick up mistakes and gaps in the book. I can ask a proofreader or beta reader to give feedback on how the writing flows. Any number of interested others can give me their fair opinion on my stuff. But as the author, I get final say. Simply by fact of being The Author.
One advantage of being self-published is having ultimate control over my written works. I am not bound by the expectations and requirements of a traditional publisher. I do not have an externally-imposed deadline. It is up to me, and me alone, to decide when and how I get the book done.
When I think about my journey as an author, I can’t help but reflect on Jesus. He is referred to as the “Author and Perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Contemplating Jesus as an author of faith, as The Author, puts Him in a slightly different light for me than my usual view of Jesus.
When I think of Jesus as The Author, I think about how He has a story to tell. I think about the plots and subplots and plot-twists He must have in mind. I think about how Jesus is the main protagonist in that eternal story, not me nor anyone I admire. I am reminded that Jesus is not working to anyone else’s deadline.
If Jesus is writing the everlasting tale of faith, it seems to me that it is an honour just to get a mention in the story. I would be pleased, in a story that spans the ages and contains every person in His Kingdom, to be a bit-character that appears briefly on the edge of a scene for a moment.
And I would be confident that Jesus knows how it all ends. I would be certain that through all the conflicts and crises and climaxes, The Author knows how to bring all the threads of the story together to a satisfying conclusion. In the hands of such a master storyteller, I would confidently rest my life’s direction and final destination.
Life can throw us curve balls, like characters in a story facing a life-changing moment. But we don’t need to know how the story ends. We just need to trust the skill of The Author to cultivate and mature our faith like a good plotline. We can rest in knowing that He creates the storylines of our lives and that, in the final chapter, He will bring us home.
Where have you seen Jesus at work in writing the story of your life?