Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Faith and The Life of the Writer

As you read this I am in Indianapolis attending CBA Advance. I say this in faith, because as I write, I don’t know how I will get there, or perhaps to be correct, (since I’m writing this on Saturday and you’re reading it on Wednesday) how I got here.

I was planning to leave Monday morning at 4:00 a.m., but on Friday when I got in my car the brake light came on, and when I tried to stop, the pedal went to the floor. I (very carefully) drove the car to the closest repair shop, but they said they wouldn’t be able to do anything until Monday. The rear brake lines, which are mounted under the gas tank, had disintegrated. To fix the problem they would have to remove the gas tank which would take several hours and cost $1,500.

Suffice to say, this was not good news. Besides not having the money for such a repair, leaving for the show late Monday afternoon would put me way behind schedule. I had a booth to set up for a show that started on Tuesday. On top of that, we discovered there was no oil in the car. Ouch! They warned me that driving the car was unsafe and that I should leave it with them, but I since I had driven it in, I felt I could drive it out. I opted to get a second opinion.

The whole thing was a brutal come-down from a super high. I had just finished a week of victory. We produced 200 promotional DVDs to hand out at the winter convention of the Christian Bookseller’s Association and the whole process was a miracle. As is true with most authors, I’m on a tight budget, and promotion is costly. When I first investigated doing this project I found the cost of burning the DVDs, printing artwork on the front, and buying jewel cases, would be $1,200. That price did not include studio time or editing of the original piece. Plus it was going to take an inordinate amount of my time to write a script, create a storyboard, screen existing video clips for pertinent material, have meetings with the director and editor, and spend time in the studio recording, and I just didn’t have that kind of time.

The miracle: I now have 200 professionally produced DVDs with a picture of me along with my books printed in full color on the front, packaged in jewel cases, with two promotional versions, (a one minute, and a six minute promo) and the total cost for everything was $180. And I didn’t even have to write the script or attend the meetings. I was ecstatic. I was praising the Lord for pulling it all together and giving me this great gift. And it was only one of several mini-miracles God did to help me prepare for this show. And then, two days before I was to leave, my brakes go out and I’m looking at an unaffordable repair bill and a huge delay. “Lord why are you doing this to me?" I complained. "Don’t you know I have a show to do?”

Here’s the funny part. My wife and I read through the Bible every year and that very morning we'd read the passages found in Exodus 16 & 17 where the children of Israel were complaining that they had no bread, so God gave them manna, and then that they had no water so God poured it from a rock. My goodness. God had just sent ten miraculous plagues that harmed only the Egyptians, not them, and had divided the waters of the Red Sea so they, but not the Egyptians, could cross, and they were complaining that He wasn’t taking care of them! I turned to my wife and said. “Isn’t that just like man? I know I’d probably do the same thing.” Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy.

After I calmed down, I took my car to a garage where the owner is a man I trust. He quoted me $400 (thank you, Lord) but said he couldn’t do it until Monday. So, as I say, I don’t know how I got here, (remember, I’m attending CBA in Indianapolis as you read this) but I can’t wait to tell you the miracle, because God.... To Be Continued. (Don’t you just hate it when they say that?)

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