I’ve learned a lot from my friend Seymour the Mohel. [Gentiles: Think Jewish, think rabbi, think circumcision.] With one eye and two fingers missing on his right hand, he’s had a number of challenges in the profession to which the Lord has called him.
Becoming a follower of Yeshua did not do much to enhance his career either. But that’s a story for another day.
Seymour is one of the most optimistic souls I have ever met. After every rejection, disappointment, or loss, his reaction is always the same: “Praise God! Could it be that You have an even greater plan for me?”
He believes God’s plan is the best and only option for his life. He considers roadblocks, detours, stops signs, and dead ends blessings along the Way. And he is thankful for every one of them.
Seymour stands on the Word of God:
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with [us] . . . (2 Peter 3:9 NIV)
More often I equate the wonderful plan God has for my life with only good things like acceptance, winning, and publishing contracts. My definition of “wonderful” and His are often at odds.
I want to be more like Seymour. To respond the way he does to every disappointment. To run not after the world, but after God who has my best interests at heart.
For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. (Matthew 6:32 NIV)
When contemplating my current semi-finalist status in a novel writing contest, I first prayed that winning would be part of His big picture for me. Then I moved onto hoping that my plan and God’s would cross somewhere in the middle. Finally, I prayed,
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. (Psalm 139:23 NIV)
Yesterday, while pondering a possible loss with the end of the contest only days away, I found myself parroting Seymour: “Praise God! Could it be that You have an even greater plan for me?”
I have Seymour to thank for this attitude adjustment. It seems the more I develop Seymour’s character– who, by the way, is a lead character in my latest novel– the more God develops mine. While a win could very well be part of the Lord’s big picture for me, so could a loss. And it is well with my soul, as the old hymn goes. Wait. It’s more than well, it’s exciting!
The advice I found from author Winn Collier recently in InTouch Magazine said it well.
Hold onto the things in your life — wins and losses — loosely. For with God, whatever we have—whether little or plenty—is always enough. (InTouch Magazine, December 2014-12-22)
Note: The picture above is not really Seymour. But I imagine he might look something like this.
PS: Here are the semifinalists in the Operation First Novel Contest in alphabetical order by book title. We’ll know the results this weekend. Three of them will receive publishing packages. The remaining eight will receive God’s greater plan for their lives.
- A Town Called Pickings by Daisy Sohne
- Double Header by Clarice G. James
- Greater Still by Linda Brooks Davis
- Heirlooms by Jeannine Brummet
- Intelectric: J058 by Katie Lohr
- Meaghan’s Choice by Donna L.H. Smith
- Rosetta Assassin by Richard New
- Simply Amazing by Deborah J. Neuenschwander
- Snow Out of Season by Christy Brunke
- The Tale of the Quilt Told by Mary Kay Moody
- Unexpected Riches by C.S. Boyll