Recently, my novel was handed over to the publishing company. It has taken a mere sixteen years, since it was first conceived, for the submission of this final copy. Finally, after countless chides from my family to get it published, numerous edits, and one title change, One More Tomorrow is officially out of my hands.
The process of writing a novel—or the creation of any art form for that matter—bears some striking similarities to our lives. Well-lived lives, like well-written books, are crafted by thoughtful decisions, intentional choices, inspiration, imagination, creativity, and untold toil undertaken over its entirety. Even as I handed my manuscript over, I knew it would never be perfect. There could forever be tweaks, cuts, and additions, but there was a deadline, and so I gave it away.
Our lives are just the same.
It too will never be perfect. It has a deadline, and you need to give it away.
No matter how hard we try, no matter how we imagine it, painstakingly craft it, and steer the process, our lives will never measure up to our expectations. Our days, we ourselves, will never be flawless. There will be times when those around us will fail us, circumstances will crumble, and we will be less than perfect.
But the here and now, and all that we make of it, isn’t all there is. And despite all our efforts—all our cuts and edits—to achieve perfection, we can’t become good enough for all that comes after this life. We weren’t meant to achieve perfection, nor was life meant to be perfect. Because this life, with all its aches and pains, is not heaven.
As bleak as this sounds at first appearance, it’s actually good news. Forget trying to be flawless like you wish the manuscript, the painting, the song, or the dance of your life to become. There will be plenty of time for that later when perfect is the norm. But like my book, our lives have a final submission date. That date occurs on the day you pass from life, to death, to eternal life.
On that day:
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
~ Revelation 21:4
Until then, we can rest in knowing that there’s nothing we can do to be good enough for this moment—for eternity. No amount of hard work, good behaviour, rule following, or believing we are better than the person next to us will gain us an admission ticket into heaven.
Jesus alone bought our passage; we only need receive it by faith.
Everything else, the cuts and edits, will come as a result of his life in you. You give away your life’s manuscript, and he does the work crafting it—and you—into his masterpiece. He’s the only one who can make you fit for forever.
For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
~ Hebrews 10:14
- Have you found your rest in Jesus? I would love to hear your story!
2 Replies to “On Novel Writing, Deadlines, and Perfection”
Congrats on getting your book finally published. Yay!!!!
How was your time in Bahamas?
Erik Bürklin 林铭立 President
Serving the Church in China
8191 SouthPark Lane, Suite 112 Littleton, Colorado 80120, USA Mobile: 303-875-9493 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
HE>i “He is greater than I” (John 3:30)
Thanks Erik! We are still here enjoying the warmth!