I am very competitive. When I felt God was calling me to write, ( How it all began, ) I joined a writing club to gain experience, practice and hone my skill. Every month there is a different writing challenge, from haiku to horror. A judge gives a written report of your writing and points are accumulated for first, second, third places in that challenge. At the end of the year a trophy is awarded to writer of the year and runner up.
Last year I came second. This year I am currently in third place. To be able to improve my position I have to enter every single challenge. November’s was to write a tall tale in 3 000 words about a Voortrekker. During the month I did my research and started my story. Last week we were camping with friends and, although I took my computer in the motorhome, I didn’t write a word. We got back on Friday. Saturday was the last day of the month and the deadline was midnight. No problem. I only had 1 500 words to write. I would dedicate the whole of Saturday to it.
I set my alarm for 5am. I told my husband he could bring me coffee but I wouldn’t have time to pray and read our daily devotion as we do every morning. I wanted to get in three hours of writing before I had to take my granddaughters to Brownies and Teddies. I would skip the Gideon’s prayer meeting that would take place in our house.
I got up with the alarm and went to my study to switch on my laptop. It just stared at me. I jiggled my mouse. Nothing. I stroked the touch-pad. Nothing. My computer would not accept any communication from me. It took me half an hour to realize that though I could access the Windows screen and scroll using the key pad, I could select nothing. It was much too early to ask my son-in-law for help. I couldn’t write my story.
I don’t know how I knew it was God’s interference, but I knew. My Father was not impressed by the way I had casually pushed aside appointments with Him to do my own thing. I was awestruck that He had come so close to me. There was nothing I could do except abandon the idol of possibly being able to come second in the writers club yearly standings. I would have to consciously allow the deadline to pass and not send an entry. Only other competitive people will understand how difficult that was for me.
Of course, now I had time to pray and read with my husband. I even had time to have a quiet time and talk to the Lord and repent. I had not been interested in His will, I was too busy doing my own. Ps 40:7 jumped at me. Here I am, I have come – it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, my God; Your law is within my heart. I was at the Gideon prayer meeting.
As it turned out, all that was wrong with my computer was a flat battery in my mouse, but I know that, had He needed to, the Lord could have ensured that my computer was out of operation for a month. Maybe I could still have finished my story but I had already relinquished it and I wasn’t about to reverse that. I didn’t dare.