“Look back with thanksgiving and forward with confidence.” –Nick Harrison in Magnificent Prayer – Dec 31 reading
I was praying about my daughter and son-in-law who will meet up in New York and be there when the ball drops and another year has ended and a new one begins. He is coming from Iraq and she from the mountains of North Carolina. I thought of the blessing of that. Both have done things they’d never believed possible. God has given them challenges and led them to start the Gideon Media Arts Conference. That hadn’t been a dream of theirs but they were led into it.
Through the Gideon and Writers Conferences they met Todd Starnes of Fox News. They contacted him and while in New York he has invited them to be in the studio during the TV program, Fox and Friends.
My daughter had the privilege of going to London with a friend and who sat in Handle’s chair and held the original copy of The Messiah.
As I prayed for their safety and thanked God for their blessings my thoughts went to how I would love to travel “everywhere” and do “everything.” My thoughts were checked as I wondered if I should have thought of what I wanted for myself or if that thought should have entered my mind.
It led to my remembering that God led me into starting a writers conference which I led for 25 years. I’ve been to Israel that is the Holy Land, the land of the Bible, and I walked where Jesus walked, saw where he was crucified, went into a tomb like the one from which he rose from the dead. I’ve been to Paris, the Romance City. I’ve experienced God’s spirit many, many times but in my writing of the book of my heart. Most of my books are written with work and struggle.
I wondered why I wanted “more.” Then I knew. Like Oliver Twist who was hungry and held out his bowl for more, I too am hungry for doing more, being more. If I had been content with only one great experience, then I wouldn’t have had more of them. If I had been content with Israel, I wouldn’t have gone to Paris. If I were content with that book of my heart, and didn’t want to experience that again, I wouldn’t write another book.
The devotional in the Prayer Book gave me understanding of my thoughts when they take me from the blessings others are having to thoughts about what I want for myself. It isn’t selfishness, or begrudging anything another has. It brings me to the point of remembering my own blessings, thanking God for them in the past, and looking forward with confidence to what challenges lie ahead.