Today Rebekah and I drove over to St Pete for a 50th anniversary party. We all met on the top floor of a waterfront condominium and the views were spectacular. I could easily imagine spending my days writing, with panoramic views as an inspirational backdrop.
Then Rebekah and I sat down across from some of our friends and chatted about life, our children, struggles with work, and the amazing impact of God's word on the details of our every day. Heck, we even talked about theology!
What I realized - as if I didn't already know! - was that my writing is unlikely to hold much depth if it all emerges from a distant view of the world from the 30th floor of a tall building. Maybe I could generate some fiction from up there... but I write about real life, about where
God intersects with personal experience, and about where redemption shares the same space as struggle and disappointment and the brokenness of the everyday.
So Rebekah and I walked around the balcony, looking north towards Tampa, east across the water, west to Tropicana Field, and south down toward the Sunshine Skyway. It was a glorious place, and it really was wonderful to experience the views.
But at the moment, for the foreseeable future at least, our place is down on the ground floor, with a congregation full of people we love and in the middle of a community that needs to hear the good news.
And it is good news, such a great story! That's what was exciting our table conversation, and that's what continues to animate our lives.