The other day I was talking to one of my writing friends about what we were working on, and she told me she had finished chapter 4 of the novel she’s been working on.
I was so proud of her. And let’s be honest, slightly jealous.
Then, another of my writing friends from university has just completed his first draft of a novel. And as if that alone doesn’t shame me enough, he has already begun work on another.
Meanwhile, I am sitting at my desk searching for motivation and design to put my fingers to the job.
Louis L’Amour once said, “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
When I had been talking with my first writer friend at a cafe this week, she said something similar that stuck with me. “I found I just have to sit down and write. Give myself an hour away from everything and just write.”
She was right.
When you open yourself to the chance to actually write something, more times than not you will be able to produce a piece. It may be a work you end up scrapping, but the fact is you practiced. You did what you needed to for something to happen.
In Acts 12, we find Peter in prison guarded by soldiers and bound by chains. He was in a maximum security jail of his time.
Verse 7 tells us that an angel of the Lord appeared and he struck Peter’s side telling him to “Get up quickly.” The chains then fell off Peter’s hands.
Following that we read:
8 And the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.”
Yes, the angel had come to rescue Peter. Yes, this was undoubtedly divine intervention.
But, in saying all of that, the angel still required things of Peter. He may have loosed his chains, but Peter had to ready himself and leave the prison on his own.
The angel easily could have moved Peter from one location to the next without having Peter do any work, but that’s not what happened. Peter was required to act.
“Gird yourself and put on your sandals”: Get ready, Peter. Prepare yourself for action and movement. Make sure what might’ve hindered you from leaving is tied up and out of the way. Put on your shoes because you’ve got to step out. Protect your feet to avoid stumbling.
“Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.”: Ready yourself to go outside. You travel with a cloak for warmth and protection. Don’t just throw your cloak over you, wrap it around you. Secure it because you are moving and moving quickly. Watch where I go, and you do the same. It’s time to go.
I felt the Lord speak to me when I read this verse today.
God moves on our behalf. He provides divine direction and guidance. But He also asks us to move. Oh, He is more than able to move us past the trial. He is more than able of making things happen. But He also wants us to take initiative, to show Him we can actively listen to His voice in all situations.
I want to encourage you to gird yourself and put on your sandals. Wrap your cloak around you and follow Jesus.
He’s got mighty plans for your life, but perhaps now He is asking you to move in response. He is prompting you, but you are the one who will have to make the decision to be dormant or obedient.