Monday, February 18, 2008

I Am Not Called to be a Christian Writer - Hall

The journey I have been on for the past couple of years has led me to come to that rather startling pronouncement. Three years ago our church went through Rick Warren's 40 Days of Purpose using his book The Purpose Driven Life - which you have heard of, I am sure.

The book surprised me. It asked probing questions. It changed my thinking about a lot of things. If I could be so bold, I could say that it changed my life. One of its more astonishing pronouncements was that we have no other calling than to worship God. None. I balked at that at first. Naturally I did. I am a Christian writer. It's what I do. and yes, I argued, it's a 'calling'. And besides, it's cool to tell people that I'm called to be a Christian writer.

And then God led me through some very difficult times. Even my very writing, it seemed, was in jeopardy. I began to realize that Rick Warren might be right. If suddenly I could no long write, God could cast me aside as useless trash if my only calling was to be a Christian writer. I began to learn that maybe, just maybe, I'm supposed to worship God, and that is it. My writing, my vocation, is unimportant compared to my relationship with God.

Now, suddenly I am hearing that message everywhere. A small group I'm involved in is studying Larry Crabb's Soul Talk. He refers to C.S. Lewis' First Things and Second Things. The First Thing is worship of God. Second things are everything else - families, jobs, artistic abilities, hobbies and even the good things we do for others.

My husband and I listen to the sermons of Dr. Tim Keller (See He talks about Good Things and Ultimate Things. A Good Thing would be my writing. The Ultimate Thing is my relationship with God. He argues that if we make idols of Good Things, we miss The Ultimate Thing.

Look at Job. In one day, he lost all of his Second Things, his Good Things, but learned that God could be trusted, that God was the only person who could be trusted. God was a First Thing.

Yes, I will continue to write. It's what I do best. It's what I enjoy. But it's no longer my "Calling": I'm trying to give that to God.

(The picture at the side is my husband, Rik, sitting in Einstein's lap, taken on a recent trip to Washington DC.)

Linda Hall


Bonnie Grove said...

This is seperating the bone and the marrow. There is a depth of relationship with God that few people ever attain in their Christian walk (many are called, few are chosen). This is the narrow road (more of a rough, overgrown path than a road) and I'm so glad you shared with us how you found it. I love how God leads each one of us.

I will pray for you as you walk these lovely first steps to seeing God as wholly Goodness (completeness), His ultimate reality, and what that means in your life, Linda.

I love the picture. Makes me want to go there just to sit there.

Keith Clemons said...

Well said, Linda

Kimberley Payne said...


I just completed Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Life" myself and came to similar conclusions! Isn't it wonderful how God takes us on these paths of learning.
Keep writing, I love reading your stuff!
Kimberley Payne

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