This past week I started an online class in editing. My desire and call is to become a freelance editor, but the fact that I do not have the slightest bit of education in this area is more than a little daunting. So, when the Lord showed me this class, I knew I needed to take it in order to gain the knowledge I needed in order to be prepared for this new venture.
I am a bit philosophical and I overthink so many things in my life. Recently I have been re-examining the choices I have made up until this point. How is the Lord using each choice, each circumstance, each relationship, to bring me to this very moment in time? How has He opened my eyes to this particular opportunity and said “no” to the others that I was so sure He had called me to? These things cause me to scratch my head.
Then I began to think of the whole idea of editing. An editor takes something created by another person or himself/herself and “tweaks” it here and there in order to make it better. Maybe it will never be perfect, but that is what I want to examine today.
Life. The Lord created me and lovingly formed me before the foundation of the world. He knew my beginning and my end and He knew each experience and characteristic of my life that needed to be present in order for me to become everything that He designed me to be. Sometimes He even allowed others to be used in this process.
OK. This might be too general. Let me show you a few specifics.
As a child and teenager, I read furiously. I love words – well, the written word, anyway. This is a trait the Lord instilled in me as a child. But it could have been squelched, right? Well it wasn’t. Mom and Dad always made sure I had books or access to a library. Thought: The Lord “added” my parents to my life to bring opportunities. Is this not something an editor would do?
As an adult I had children and read to them constantly. I homeschooled them and taught them how to read. I would grade their papers and help them understand grammar and taught them new vocabulary words. The Lord allowed my children to add to my life’s tapestry and bring me to this place. Is that not something an editor does? Add a phrase or word that would help give clarity?
I started writing stories, but for some reason they were never finished. I just couldn’t muster the creative juices to get them done. I would get frustrated and cry out to the Lord asking, “Why did You give me this “gift” that everyone says I have and not let me use it?” I think the Lord “tweaked” this and said something like, “How about looking at the structure here? Why don’t you do a little more research on this before We are finished writing your story?” Isn’t that the job of an editor? To point out areas that are just a bit weak and need adjusting?
Occasionally there are those who somehow harm me or will eventually harm me. I cling to those friendships, hoping that somehow the Lord will intervene and change the situation. But my omniscient Lord either moves them, or me, along. Is He not the great Editor Who deletes certain things because they detract from the story?
And oftentimes, He brings others into your life to point out small mistakes that need adjusting before we can continue. Just like an editor would do in pointing out spelling errors.
This may all sound a little simplistic, but sometimes I need simplicity to bring me back to my roots – my base. You see, editing is difficult. I am BY NO MEANS comparing myself to the Lord, but merely drawing some parallels. You see, it is hard being on either end, isn’t it? For those of you who are writers, you spend so much time crafting your beautiful story. And to have someone come along and “tweak” it might cause you a little pain. Right? And for those of you who are not writers, it sometimes hurts when others come along and point out little things in your life that need to be changed. They might even be sins. But it is never fun when someone sees our mistakes, is it?
Here is the lesson for today – something that I learned in my second lesson for my online class. The job of the editor is not to change the work. It is the author’s work. The editor is merely there to show the author a few changes that could be made in order to make the story read better. It is up to the author to accept or decline those suggestions.
So when we allow ourselves to really be more objective, we will recognize that the Lord is the Author of our lives. He is also the Divine Editor, isn’t He? He merely makes suggestions and gives us opportunities to change to show off the work of the Author. We have the choice to accept or decline His direction. But do we not ultimately WANT to make sure His creation is everything that He created it to be?