Communicating the Message by Patricia Robertson
I arrived at Breathe, out of breath and late because of being routed to the wrong 3000 Leonard Street by On-Star. As the minutes had ticked by and I grew later and later, I had prayed that I would receive from the conference what God intended me to receive.
Writing conferences can be mixed blessings. I love all of the great in-put and making connections, but often I come home feeling overwhelmed and exhausted as I consider everything I need to do if I’m ever to make it as a writer.
As I sat in the auditorium waiting for the closing key note I was feeling all of the above plus discouragement. I know we are told not to compare ourselves to others, however I found myself looking at all the young faces, some who were farther along in the writing and publishing process than I was, others who were just beginning their journey.
“If only I had stuck with writing in my youth instead of going into ministry, I would be a much more accomplished writer today,” I found myself thinking. Then I looked at the full auditorium and thought, this was only a portion of all of the writers in the world. How could I ever to make it?
I was primed for the closing keynote, the tale of two writers. I figured I knew which writer I would be – the one writing in obscurity whose words were never heard.
At one point, Leslie Leyland Fields, told us to write down what we wanted for our readers. I wrote “I want those who read my books to come away feeling loved by God, inspired. I want my writing to have a positive influence on the world, that those who read it will grow in knowledge and love of God, that they will recognize God’s presence in their everyday life.”
Then Leslie turned it around and said that was what we wanted for ourselves.
“Wow, what a great spiritual direction technique,” was my first thought. “I’m going to use this.” But then I realized that what I wanted for others was precisely what I needed for myself. After over thirty years in ministry and telling people how much God loves them, I still can’t begin to comprehend the magnitude and mystery of God’s love.
I looked at the two hundred gathered for this conference and thought, “You can never have enough people communicating this message.”
And so I came away with tears that stayed with me through the rest of the week as I reflected on how much God loves even me. I had received what God had intended for me to receive.
I can’t wait until next year’s conference.
Patricia Robertson, D.Min., is an author, speaker and spiritual director, who is committed to helping individuals find God in their every day experience. Married, mother and minister, she writes for and about ordinary people living extraordinary lives just by being the person they are meant to be. She is the published author of three books of meditations and numerous magazine articles. She has recently ventured into self-publishing her novels. More can be found at her website https://www.