The Quest Part 2: Accepting the Challenge

So you heard the call, loud and clear.  Your calling spoke to you, showed you the task ahead.  And while at first it sounded great, every pee-pickin’ reason in the world arose as to why you could not accomplish this.

If not Now, When? written on the road

So there you sit.  Pulled in two directions as if on a medieval rack.  Okay, so that’s a bit extreme, but it can sure feel that drastic. 


You can of course truly refuse at this point—many people do.  Finding the courage to become your own hero and face the challenge takes fortitude indeed.


If you’re really lucky, you hear the literal voice of God at this point—as Moses did.  Again, God wasn’t so impressed with Moses’ litany of (quite apropos) reasons why he couldn’t accomplish the task.  But God just basically said, “It’s you.  Put your travelin’ sandals on.  But have no fear—I’ll be with you.”  Now, that’s pretty stellar comfort indeed.


Usually though, we don’t get such clear direction.  But if you’re listening, guidance comes nevertheless.  Sometimes it’s one thing.  Often, however, a series of events conspire to propel you down the right path.


The right book is dropped into your hands.  I have a wonderful editorial client who was a two-pack-a-day smoker, had never had one athletic bone in her body, worked feverishly as a nurse to take care of herself and her husband, who after an injury found himself disabled and in chronic pain.  She stumbled (quite literally) into a new-thought seminar.  It started her on an arduous road of self-discovery—at which she excelled.  Which culminated at the summit of Mt. Everest.  Literally.


Or, something stabs right into your conscience, and you cannot say no.  A friend who had been a sometimes runner was challenged to a marathon.  Which although seemed sexy at first, she refused flatly (maturely, she said) in the harsh light of day. Then her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, and she trained (and finished) the Susan G Koman Race for the Cure.


It can be something seemingly tiny, but which won’t let you up.  For me, I knew that voice whispering to me in the night, the one saying, you must write.   Not that I hadn’t written a ton, but I’d let the business of this business get me down, let it break my heart, and my own work got pushed aside as I helped others realize their writing dreams. 


Yet that voice kept coming, often when I was completely unawares (it tends to do that).  My purpose lay fallow.  That I knew this consciously wasn’t of much consolation.  And, it didn’t silence that voice.


With this as the backdrop I spoke at a Literary Conference and ran into two wonderful acquaintances—Renee Groskreutz of I Teach Blogging and Evelyn Bird of White Bird Publications.  Both presented me with paths to my goal, which intertwined across and around and through one another.  And I knew.  The dream crystalized.


And of course excuses then crashed to the surface.   For goodness sakes, I already knew the hazards of this road, knew the monsters to be feared and faced.  I was not a virgin author.


My belief is that when Jesus said turn the other cheek, he wasn’t talking about letting someone smack that one as well.  But rather, that by turning, even the slightest smidge, our focus changes.  And then we see those things that before had been hidden. 


As I drove home after the conference that day, my vision cleared.  I saw things from a different angle. And I knew, viscerally, every cell of my body in sync, where my future lay.  I saw it clearly.  And despite all the insanity of my life, I would write.  Again, and forever, as long as I drew breath.  It is my purpose.  One perhaps that I’d let the mundane obscure, but now the veil had cleared.


And I took the first step.


What excuses do you let get in your way?


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