Friday, April 29, 2011

Still-Standing Stars


I loved a comment my friend, Laura, made at our book study last Tuesday. We're both writers, and we discussed the motives for publishing. "I'm just not a competitive person," I said. "So many writers are struggling to get on the Best Seller List, but even those that do, their book is a flash in the pan. Most end up in remainders the next year, forgotten. And so the top authors have to produce a book just about every year to maintain their status and paychecks.

"What if," I suggested, "instead of writing horizontally--for strangers currently living across the globe--we write for a vertical audience--for our children, and their children, and their children, going deep through time. Look how many children Abraham has! Families are eternal, and so in just a matter of generations we'll be on our loved ones' Best Seller List. Wouldn't that be true success?

Laura then said, "It's like the difference between shooting stars that streaks across the sky and are burned up in an instant, and the stars that are always in the sky shining for us. One is brilliant and eye-catching, but the other is steady, constant."

Her comment is especially significant to me because my name is Connie, which is derived from the Latin word Constant (faithful, devoted, enduring). One of my favorite lines from a hymn, "Reverently and Meekly Now," says, ". . . . and be constant unto me that thy Savior I may be."

As I've considered her comment, I've thought of the countless mariners and travelers who've depended on the constant stars to guide them.

So we can enjoy the flash in the pan (or across the sky) events, books, movies, technologies . . . but I wonder if it isn't the "common" people and moments that are the light of our lives. And if, like light pollution that prevents us from seeing the full glory of the steady stars, we fail to see each other, our own loved ones,  for all the celebrity glare and entertainment streaking around us.

Remember Abraham, (unto whom I saidst), I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.
Best Seller List or  no, we are all stars in Heavenly Father's book. We were made to shine.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Character Study of God

Laura and I went to the Mountain of Authors conference yesterday. Reflecting this morning on the writing craft and specifically character development, I confess I prayed, "Father, in character study Thou would be flat."

OK, in my defense, in order to create "rounded" and in-depth characters an author must build in personality traits, histories, strengths and weaknesses, and so forth. In a poem I wrote thirty years ago I penned the thought, "What do I know of Thee except Thou art a God?"

But no sooner did this reoccurring thought escape my mind this morning than a humbling realization took its place. Didn't the Savior say, "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father"? He made it crystal clear that He did nothing but what the Father told Him to do and say.

So in a figurative but also a literal sense, didn't Heavenly Father unmask Himself in the person of His Son? Wouldn't the study of the life of the Savior  also be a study of the Father?  And if we went one step further in this supposition, if we did a character study of the Savior wouldn't we see ourselves as His daughters, and thus be doing and saying the things He would have us do? Wouldn't following the Savior mean literally following Him into the Father's very arms?