Sunday, October 25, 2015

Knowing The Goal and Moving Toward It


A writer friend of mine shared a new writing technique she'd learn to help her press toward her goal of more words. Basically this technique, described by Henry McLaughlin, involved one-hour "Writing Blasts". You set a timer, sit down at your computer, and start writing as fast as you can for one hour. Get up and walk around for ten or fifteen minutes, then blast away again. The idea is to get three blasts done in the morning. 

McLaughlin has a second goal, of 500 words per scene, with an alert set to chime when he reaches that goal. In essence, he has two goals that run simultaneously. He is constantly pressing toward the goal. 

I'm currently doing a rewrite of my entire first manuscript. That sounds worse than it is, of course. I'm tightening the writing and changing some scenes in order to tell them from a different character's point of view. It's made my story much better and I'm thrilled by the improvement, but it's hard work.

The total words in my original manuscript:92,612
Total words in my rewrite (so far): 26,808

Yes. I have a long way to go. I've completed most of the "worst" part, but there are some sections that still need to be rewritten. This is hard, but it's worth it. I'm keeping my goal in sight, which is to be finished before Thanksgiving. I have 28 days to make it happen. (I don't usually write on Sundays.) With 65,804 words left to rewrite, I need to fly through 2,350 words a day. Some days, I'll likely do more. Some days, I'll likely do less. 

One critical step is required to reach the end. Keep the goal in sight. 

That's what Jesus did. Some Pharisees came up to Jesus and said, "You need to get out of here, because Herod wants to kill you." Jesus said, "Go tell that fox I'll be healing people and casting out demons for two more days and, on the third day, I'll reach my goal." (Leanna Paraphrase)

Jesus wasn't worried about Herod's plans because He had the end in sight. He was steadily moving toward it. In three days, Herod's plans and Jesus' plans would line up and God's ultimate goal of redemption would be achieved.

"The third day I reach My goal." (Luke 13:32 nasb)

Healing the sick wasn't Jesus' goal. Casting out demons wasn't Jesus' goal. His goal was the Cross, and He never stopped moving toward it until that fateful day when the goal was fulfilled. Redemption was complete.

The Apostle Paul wrote of the only goal in his life. "One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14 nasb)

We, too, have goals in life, some probably more admirable than others. If we are to please God, however, we need a goal that mirrors that of Christ. Our citizenship is in heaven and we must strive to be more like the One who purchased that eternal citizenship. This lofty goal will only be met by transformation of our hearts and our lives by the Power of the Holy Spirit in us. 

It seems unusual to have a goal that we, ourselves, cannot accomplish. We can only allow the accomplishing. To achieve our goal, then, we must humble ourselves and allow God to change us as He desires. 

We aren't who we should be. We don't love as we should, or work as we should, or give as we should, but we can be more. We can love more, work more, give more. We can be more like Christ, if we will allow it. So let's allow it. Let's invite God's Spirit to do more in us than we can imagine, to transform us so that all who see us will know that they have glimpsed the Christ in us because of the work He's done.

Come, Holy Spirit, and do your work in us. Change us, transform us. Make us more like Christ. More giving. More loving. More humble. More grace. More like You.

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The most read post of the past week: The New Normal.

Here's the link to The Clay Papers, available as an e-book for personal use or to send as a gift for only 99 cents. 
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photo courtesy of freeimages.com

#disciple #JesusChrist #followHim #goals #transformed