BLOGGER: SUSIE LARSON
SELF AMBITION, SELF PRESERVATION
We love to write. We long to be published. We decide to step out of the boat. Others seem to skate right through the publication process. Yet for us, progress often feels slow and the frustrations, constant.
Over the years I’ve met writers who experienced quick success only to fizzle out within a few years. And, I’ve met writers who had great potential but allowed their fears to keep them from taking the risks necessary to succeed. Looking back, they now feel only regret. What happened in these situations?
When we finally awaken to the idea that God wants to do great things in and through us, two temptations may also surface for us:
The minute we decide to pursue our dream, we notice those with similar dreams who seem a little farther down the road. We feel impatient. And even frustrated. We’re tempted to posture and plan and to use people as a means to and end. We justify grabbing quick solutions and shortcuts to our goal.
So what’s the problem with a healthy sense of self-ambition? And is all ambition bad?
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Philippians 2:3-4 NIV
Self-ambition compels us to drive beyond what’s healthy or even realistic. We sacrifice relationships for opportunity. We strive in our own strength instead of humbly stewarding our current assignment. Self-ambition makes us self-focused; it blinds us from seeing the value in others and the significance of their call. Self-ambition neglects the wisdom in God’s timing.
As Christians, our God-given call to write will always make life better for others. God brilliantly designs our call to fit our story and to nourish many. And, as an invested, loving Father, He will not send us out until we’re ready.
If you’re frustrated and tempted to take matters into your own hands, I dare you instead to humble yourself and trust God’s timing in your story. Apply yourself to the task before you. Learn what you need to know. One day you’ll break through.
When we take the necessary steps to learn the craft and to educate ourselves on the publication process, we eventually find opportunities designed just for us. Where in the past, our ambition and impatience compelled us to strive forward and self-promote, oftentimes it’s our fears that compel us to pull back and self-protect.
When our humanity touches our dreams, it’s tempting to hit the breaks and think, I could really mess this up. What if I fail publicly? What if I make a fool of myself? Maybe I’m not ready. I’m definitely not ready.
Publishers tell us that of the conference attendees who actually receive an invitation to send them a book proposal, only 25% follow through with this invitation! Think about that for a moment: 75% of writers who dream of being published, when faced with an opportunity to submit a proposal, never walk through that door.
Do not let fear keep you from achieving your dreams.
And do not let self-ambition drive you to strive in ways that are beneath you.
You can trust God’s timing.
Work hard. Stay the course. Be humble. Be teachable. And one day your hard work will pay off and your faith will become sight.
“Work like it all depends on you. Pray like it all depends on God.” –Mark Batterson
 Mark Batterson said these words on my show, Live the Promise with Susie Larson
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