Your Next Chapter
By SUSAN SMITH WALKER
You may have heard the old saying “Everyone has at least one book in them” meaning we all have a story, and every year is another chapter. As we approach the new year it’s a good time to reflect on Chapter 2019. How would you summarize this episode of your life? Who were the main characters, what lessons did you learn, and where did God show up in your story this year? When you began Chapter 2019 did it turn out like you thought it would or were you surprised by the twists and turns of life? How has this chapter changed you? When all is said and done, what will you remember most about Chapter 2019? Are you ready to begin Chapter 2020?
Whenever we read a good book, we often think about how well the writer put the story together but the secret to a great story is the editor. Editors know how to work with the author to cut out unnecessary words, ideas, characters, and other information that are not consistent with the direction of the story. A good editor knows how to move things around in the story to make the timing right and the narrative flow in the best way. The writer provides the raw material for the story, but the editor knows how to put it together. Each chapter is a smaller story, and the editor makes them all work together for the good of the bigger story being told in the book. The best editors have a close working relationship with the author and many authors often have only one editor for an entire career. The author and editor have a synergistic creative relationship and it takes both to make a great story.
Many writers have failed because they thought their stories didn’t need an editor. They thought they could put their story together on their own without help. As a result, their story often wanders with useless information that leads down dead-end roads that go nowhere. Chapters repeat themselves. Unnecessary characters confuse the direction of the story, and the whole thing is a mess.
In the story of our life, God’s will is that we are the author and He is our editor. Our experiences, dreams, and desires provide the raw material for our story and God helps us put it all together in the best way. He will replace unhealthy ideas and give us the mind of Christ so that the story we are creating is pleasing to Him. He will cut out unnecessary words, ordering the words of our mouth which are so powerful in creating the narrative of our life. God will show us which characters need to stay in our story and which ones need to go because they are not consistent with His will for our life. He will move things around according to his timing, so things happen in the right order according to His will. As one chapter closes and another begins, God know how to make them work together for our good, so the direction of our story helps us become the man or woman He created us to be.
With these ideas in mind, what do you think about Chapter 2019? Let God be your editor in life and 2020 will be the next great chapter in your story.
Rev. Walker is the pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church www.emanuelreformedchurch.com. She can be reached at 828-962-8196 or firstname.lastname@example.org