The Novel-Reader’s Dilemma

The Novel-Reader’s Dilemma is the temptation to flip to the back of the book and find out how everything comes out.

That’s what all of us want to do right now – flip to the back of the book. We want to know what we should have been doing all along, so we can do that – whatever “that” is – today! We want to be the heroines of the story, not the hapless fools or character interest. We want to look smart in our rear-view mirrors. But this is the time of the storm.

When the storm blows hard, the waves rise, the rain comes down in sheets – sideways – that is not the time to free a hand to work on your grip-strength exercises. Just.Hold.On. You will be given the opportunity to make correction, to change. Oh yes, that time is coming! And we *all* will be given work to do. Take notes, take stock, watch… but don’t worry about it. The time to fix the roof is when the rain is done. You can work on yourself – later. Hold tight.

We cannot re-write what has been written in the prequel. What you start this moment with is what you have to get through. This chapter might “simply” be sitting quietly (which has turned out to be not so simple) but now is the time when the discipline you used for the past years shows up – and so do the failures of discipline. Take notes! Pay attention! By all means, take stock of what comes across your path… but correction? Do what you can but don’t worry about it until we’re out of the storm.

That said, this is a time of trial. And that means that God will be changing us. Not us changing ourselves, God carving us, molding us, refining us… and we don’t have to worry about it or grasp tightly to the outcome we’re hoping for. Because when the clay is placed on the wheel, it’s the potter who decides if he’s making a mug or an urn. Trying to stretch into the shape that we hope to become is counterproductive – we will be made into what we are intended to be. Or we will if we remain soft to His touch. Allow Him to work.

Our world is in the process of a great change. We cannot know where it will take us. We cannot know what opportunities, tasks, challenges, or tests lie in the sequel. Every one of us can see some things that need to be changed out in the world. Most of us are starting to see things that need to be changed in our lives. But we are not done with this time! It’s not yet time to make those changes, it’s time to sit and wait patiently, until all is revealed. To do what is called of us, each as individuals. To rush to action now will be to miss the lessons that are to come.

All of us are thoroughly ready to close this book. But that time is not yet. Read on, my friends – and be ready to start writing a new book when this one is done.

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