Thursday, June 22, 2006

Careful What You Pray For

Yeah, I know it isn't the most original title for a blog post. In fact, a quick Google search for the exact phrase returned over 33,600 hits. The phrase has been used as as the title for a book, a blog, even a 1975 episode of Kojak. But I digress. Original or not, it's appropriate for this post.

Some prayers are more dangerous than others. My three-year-old prays before bedtime, and while the content varys from night to night, the one constant is "Thank you for ponies and horses and all-of-that-stuff-that-we-like." Sweet, but not particularly dangerous. I'd always thought the most dangerous prayers were things like "Stretch me" and "Use me."

So, last weekend, as I struggled to crank out a lowly 280 words on my WIP (I'll tell you all about my WIP other time) I decided it was time for some prayer. You see, I've promised my wife that I won't attend the American Christian Fiction Writers annual conference this September in Dallas if I don't have my novel finished. At my current pace, I should be able to attend the conference some time around 2011. And seeing as how I'm a finalist in the ACFW Genesis Contest this year, I'd sort of like to be there on the off chance I actually win something.

So, my prayer. I prayed that God would help me find more time to write. Not so dangerous, right? Wrong.

On Monday, I was informed by my employer since 1988 (We'll call them "Pewlett Hackard") that I was among a large group of people being let go. Beginning next Monday, I'll have four weeks to find a job in the company. I won't bore you with any more of the details. My point is, God answered my prayer. Hopefully, He's not done answering it. It's my hope that I end up with a job that requires more normal, 40-hour weeks. That alone would free me up to write more than the 60-hour weeks I'd been working in my old job.

People have asked me how I can be so calm, that after 18 years working for the same company, I'm not freaking out at the possibility of no longer being employed there. How will you pay the mortgage? How will you support your family? Aren't you stressed?

I'm not stressed, because I know God is in control of my life. He loves me as He loves all His children. He's brought me through far more serious situations than losing a job. I'm calm because to panic over this situation would show a lack of faith in His plan for my life.

If any of you out there are stressing over something - your writing, your bills, your relationships, whatever - just know that it's all part of His plan. Even in your darkest moments, have faith. Then ask yourself the question Kojak was so fond of - you can even slip a Tootsy-Pop in your mouth like Telly used to if you'd like.

Who loves you, baby?