I know God has put a big calling on my life. I know what I am supposed to do: write. Write books for unchurched, non christian young adults. Books that are different from the rest of the ...garbage... made available to them in the "Young Adult" section at your local bookstore. I'm a strong, passionate, Bible-believing Christian, who could easily write books which could sell in the young adult section of the local Christian bookstore. But that is not what I am supposed to do.
When I tell people I know that I'm not looking to send out my book to Christian publishing houses, but SECULAR ones, they look at me funny. Aren't I the kid who grew up in church, raised in a godly family? Aren't I that kid behind the keyboard on Sunday mornings? Yup, that's me.
In Mark 2:17 Jesus says "it is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick." That is one of my life verses. Middle/High School kids are already bombarded with so much junk. The media is already trying to destroy them. Teens are confused, broken, and lost, trying to find their way through a world of hopelessness. Trying to somehow fill a void in themselves that only Jesus Christ can fill. These kids, they are the future of our world. And they are the sick. Jesus often used stories to communicate His love and the truth of His Kingdom. I intend to do that too.
There are plenty of Christian books for good, little church kids who specialize in being "not of the world." But my Jesus said to be in the world, and not of it. You can't change the world from inside the safety of your church. Or from inside your Christian bookstore. I will have a hard time reaching the sick from the shelf of a store that nonchristians don't set foot in. (I could keep going here for quite some time. I am pretty passionate about this topic, but...that is another post.) And there are lots of GOOD Christian fiction books out there too, but those just aren't what I am supposed to write.
When I walk into a book store, there are plenty -too many- secular books out there for teens, presenting all sorts of options for their lives, blurring evil into good, giving them all sorts of ideas on how to try to fill that void that they cannot. Those are not the books I will be writing.
What I write is/and will be Christian, not because of a sticker on the side of the book, who published it, or the place it is filed in the store, but because of who I am. I am not going to be a Christian writer, but instead a writer who is undeniably Christian. I was created to glorify God in all that I do, including my career. Christian isn't my religion or what I do on Sunday. It is who I am. The ultimate purpose of my life is to be a follower of Jesus. Everything in my life is to stem out of my love for my Savior. My career, what I write, is to reflect that.
My goal is to reach the sick. My purpose is to point the hopeless towards The Hope. My calling is to change the lost and dying world with the help of Him who changed me. That is what I was made for.
I am currently reading a book called "The Irresistible Revolution" by Shane Claiborne. I've blogged about Shane and his books before. He is a Nonfiction, Christian writer with a great sense of humor and a straightforward, non sugar-coating style. He is personal favorite of mine. In this book he talks about his personal experiences of working with Mother Theresa and starting his own organization known as The Simple Way. The overall theme of the book is discovering what it looks like to be a TRUE follower of Jesus and how to live as Jesus did.
In chapter 4, titled "When Comfort Becomes Uncomfortable" he goes into talking about careers, callings and vocations. Here is some of what he has to say on the matter...
"...and folks were asking me what I was going to do when I graduated from college. People always want to define you by what you do. I started saying "I'm not too concerned with what I am going to do. I am more interested in who I am becoming. I want to be a lover of God and people."I agree. At the end of my life, when I have died and am standing before my Heavenly Father, he is not going to be so very concerned with what college degree I have. Or the publishing house that is associated with what I wrote. Or where they sold it. Or how many sold. What will matter will be how I served Him. If I loved the people He loved enough to send His son to save. And what I did with the life He gave me and if I used it to bring Him glory.
I was convinced that what we do it not nearly as important as who we are. The question is not whether you will be a doctor or a lawyer, but what kind of doctor of lawyer you will be. What would twenty-year-old Jesus have said if they asked him "What are you going to do when you grow up?" I don't know, maybe something like "I am going to turn the world upside-down. I am going to hang out with prostitutes and tax collectors until people kill me.""
When I meet Him face to face I don't want to hear "well done, Isabella Kiss, you published _x-number_ of books and got a degree in ___". I don't want to hear "Well done, good and faithful writer of American Fiction and Youth Literature." or "Well done, famous author."
The words I want to hear are "Well done, good and faithful SERVANT."
So I will be an author. I will write. I will use written words to reach the people He died to save, those who are still hopeless and lost. And I will do it all to serve him and bring him glory. THAT is what I am made to do.