I can feel an anxious excitement brewing inside me. As I write this I have slightly more than a month left until my second book hits the shelves. It’s called Redeeming Pleasure, and I’d love to have you read it and spread the word about it. Here’s a bunchÂ of really nice thingsÂ some incredible people said about it.
For a lot of people, it will be their first exposure to my writing.
But it’s not my first book.
I wrote that book back in 2012. My first book was a labor of love and didn’t always work out the way I envisioned. I tried to find numerous publishers for it but couldn’t. I was told all sorts of discouraging “facts” in the process. My idea was bad, my writing was bad, my platform was bad, etc. Instead of not writing it, or holding onto for years, I instead self-published it. It was met with very moderate success (a nice way of saying it won’t do anything to help me put my kids through college). But it was one of those things I felt like I had to do no matter what results it brought. It was a subject geared at a very niche audience. But it was a book I felt I had to write.
Ever had a feeling like that?
Currently, I’m watching each calendar day tick by as I stare at September 15 slowly approaching. That’s the day an amazing publisher in Tenessee releases my second book. This second book brought me an agent, the publishing deal I’ve always dreamed of, a team of people paid to work on it with me, and an adventure I’ve longed for since I was a kid. And here’s what I’ve noticed: it’s tempting to believe that as of September 15, I’ll officially be a writer. After all, I’m about to experience measurements of success that have previously eluded me. Once I can check them off my list then I know I’ve arrived.
But that’s not true.
I was officially a writer after my first book (or even before it). But this is the game we play in our heads when it comes to our God-given passions and success. What I’ve learned is that we tend to allow some outside stimulus to validate whether the passion God gave us is real or not. We see a level of success someone we respect has achieved and aim for the same marker. Until we hit it we constantly wonder whether or not we should even be trying. But you cannot allow any measurement of success to define the nudge God puts on your heart.
“You cannot allow any measurement of success to define the nudge God puts on your heart.”Click to tweet
The question for us all becomes this: when does your passion become official? When do you move from “I might be a _______” to “God made me to ________”? I submit to you the determining factor cannot be success.
- If God nudges you to be a writer, write. It doesn’t matter what happens as a result.
- If God nudges you to be a musician, make music.Â It doesn’t matter what happens as a result.
- If God nudges you to create an organization, start it.Â It doesn’t matter what happens as a result.
- If God nudges you to be a photographer, take pictures. It doesn’t matter what happens as a result.
- If God nudges you to become the voice for something or someone, speak.Â It doesn’t matter what happens as a result.
- If God nudges you to make a decision that defies logic, step out in faith. It doesn’t matter what happens as a result.
- If God nudges you to do anything, do it. It doesn’t matter what happens as a result.
Which means that success no longer needs to loom over us as a grand finish line of value. All we need to do is be faithful with a moment.
It’s fine to have goals and dreams. I certainly do. But don’t give in to Satan’s lie that until you achieve some grand success, your God-given passion may not be authentic. Satan would love nothing more than to discourage you and move you away from the very area God made for you to thrive in. Don’t focus on the measurements, focus on that feeling burning inside you that God put there in the first place. And don’t forget, these are the areas where we not only come alive, they are also the areas we impact God’s kingdom the way He designed us to play our part.
Do you have a nudge?