(Slightly cheesy picture from yesterday's book-signing event!)
Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 - What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.
I, my friends, really am happy to do good while I live, and I honestly am finding satisfaction in all my toil. Everything is beautiful in its time!
It's also a lot of fun to teach your own book! This book, my new volume - THE UNMAKING OF A PART-TIME CHRISTIAN (available for purchase in a couple of weeks), pretty much emerged from teaching my first book (GET REAL).
It's an interesting cycle. First, you get invited to speak about a book. Then, the teaching/speaking experiences are invariably interactive, and new stories emerge from the ongoing conversation. Meanwhile, it's been a year or so since the first book was written, and of course God hasn't stopped teaching me. I haven't stopped praying either, and the ideas certainly haven't stopped growing. So new work naturally emerges from existing work and before long there's something more to share that will - in turn - continue to fuel the creative fire.
I love how newness seems to be an increasing element of my life as the years pass by. I'm conscious of how easy it is to become unimaginative and to get stuck in a comfort zone that resists new ideas, and so I am grateful that I am involved in so much discussion and study and interaction with people who keep me on my toes intellectually, inspire me spiritually, and motivate me professionally.
The keynote preacher/teacher this week, Trevor Hudson from South Africa, communicates with an earnestness and an authenticity that is at once both inspirational and grounding. He's a gracious man, generous with his time, and I felt a genuine sense of family when we talked. I pray that our paths cross again.
I've signed a few books this week and taught some well-received classes. Then a few new opportunities have presented themselves for possible travel and speaking engagements... But the real meat of the experience is grounded in people: renewed friendships, new brothers and sisters, good people with a genuine vision for serving God in any way that they possibly can.
This is my prayer: "Continue to show us the way - your way - O God... Amen."