From time to time I have enjoyed rereading some of my favorite books. There are several books that I revisit every few years. I recently took up The Robe that I hadn't read for about 25 years. I was amazed by how much of it I did not remember. I do not mean I did not remember certain parts until I had reread them. Most of it struck me like a book I had never read. This is a fairly new and embarrassing experience for me. This past weekend we went on a short trip with my daughter's family. I was shuffling through books my granddaughter had brought to read and discovered, Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life. I begin to read and laugh out loud with delight. I told my granddaughter I needed to borrow the book from her. I was quickly informed that it was my book. Sure enough I turned back to the flyleaf and discovered that the book was given me with a marvelous dedication from a friend who happens to be a really good writer.
I have recently had several far more embarrassing incidents of memory loss. This is not my worst handicap. And I have had to ask myself if they will hinder my ability to write. The answer that came to me immediately was, 'They won't, if I do not let them.” Most of us who know God wants us to write have to work through numerous handicaps.
My favorite fiction writer is Bodie Thoene. She and her husband Brock research their their historical novels together. They have over 35 million books in print in more than 35 languages. I once heard them interviewed at the end of one of their audio books. I was amazed to learn that Bodie is dyslexic and has found it too painful to reread her own books. This is something like Beethoven writing the 9th Symphony and other marvelous works after he was completely deaf.
What are your weaknesses? All of us have them. But if you will not let them they probably will not keep you from putting words up on the computer screen and publishing them to bless lives.
Now, I fear I have been a little too simplistic. Handicaps can be terribly difficult to work through. And despite the two examples I gave, some of them are absolutely impossible to overcome as a writer. However, I do believe there are three obedient actional attitudes to apply to your weaknesses.
One of them is conviction. Do you sense a compulsion, possibly even a calling from God? Do not give up because what you face is difficult.
Another is endurance. Stay at it, work at it. Think continually about ways to cope with it or get around it. When I brought up some evidences of my memory loss to my 10 year old granddaughter she immediately begin to tell me about a study done with nuns who remained sharp because they continued to be mentally active. And it was discovered by postmortem pathologies of their brains that they actually had full-blown Alzheimer's. They had staved off the effects by keeping mentally and physically active. You can look this study up it's easy to find on Google. Whatever your handicap, don't give up on it.
Finally, and most important, pray about it. Of course God may take away your thorn In the flesh. But in many cases God will glorify Himself by turning your weakness into strength as you obey Him.