Occasionally I have the opportunity to speak on spiritual matters in front of a group. I’ve spoken only to small groups, but I prepare the same as if I would be speaking to thousands—researching relevant scriptures, listening to the Holy Spirit, and organizing copious notes.
From a podium I find it difficult to gauge whether the faces are friend or foe, absorbing the message the Lord has burned into my heart, or counting the minutes until I return to my seat. Many times I’ve walked away from such engagements and asked myself if anyone heard a single word, or if anything I said made a difference. What I inevitably forget is that I’m responsible for delivering the message—not the soil on which it falls.
Recently a friend sent me a message that started with “Do you remember when you talked about…” and ended with “I’ve decided to start…” Moments like that make my soul sing. And for every person who reaches out and confirms my words landed in fertile soil, hope rises that there must surely be other “saplings” growing from seeds I planted. Until I get to heaven, however, I likely will never know.
Some writers are called and blessed to have an audience of millions. Some, also blessed, have followers measured in the tens of thousands. And then there are those whose efforts, like my speeches, reach hundreds, dozens—or just one. Man elevates those who entertain huge numbers, but the angels in heaven rejoice when a single soul turns to the Lord.
My encouragement to you is to seek not what Man desires, but what the Lord desires. Your writing craft should be stellar—as unto God. Your message should be inspired by the Holy Spirit, whether a full-blown sermon or the subtle inclusion of spiritual elements in a work of fiction. But in the end, it is up to God where he directs your steps, and where he sends your message. Soldier forward regardless of the perceived outcome, and rejoice in having been handpicked to play any role, no matter how elevated or how humble, in advancing God’s kingdom.
If you have a tiny mailing list, a blog following measured in dozens, or book sales that barely break into the hundreds, don’t be discouraged. If you are in the center of God’s will, and if your writing is guided by him, then let the Lord carry the burden of how much fruit is produced.
I wouldn’t turn down fame and fortune. But given the choice between being a household name, and the certainty of having impacted God’s kingdom for even a single person, I would choose the latter. The reward in heaven will more than make up for anything missed on Earth.
May God bless you and your journey. And remember, wherever you go and whatever you do…
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice!” Philippians 4:4 NASB
Robert Quattlebaum is the author of Miracle at Winterville. He is a professional systems analyst, an honor graduate of Georgia Tech, and the father of six children, three of whom are adopted. He and his wife reside in northern Georgia, and can often be found at weekend car shows, sharing God’s love, and salivating over classic cars.
Connect with him at www.robertquattlebaum.com and on Facebook: Robert Quattlebaum – Author