Have you ever seen the focused attention of a dog who is anticipating a tasty treat or a meal? One morning at breakfast, I watched our dog Dusty taking up position by the side of my husband’s chair. You want a picture of undivided devotion? This was it. Dusty has been blessed with a pair of head-turning, heart-gripping eyes that have the power to mesmerize many an unsuspecting visitor into feeding him tasty morsels. So there was Dusty, training his every sinew, muscle and mental faculty on the one thing he so desired…being fed a scrap by his master.
This was just before my husband and I were about to do our morning devotional reading. And it suddenly struck me that, for shame, I do not come to the Lord’s table or presence with even a smidgen of Dusty’s wholehearted attentiveness. He comes to our dining table with complete confidence that he will be fed, and that it will be good. He knows we will only feed him food that will nourish.
Similarly, I know when I come to God through His Word, I can have full confidence that I will be fed, and that it will be good. What God feeds me will definitely not harm me. I will be nourished. Yet I do not approach Him with the eagerness that I see in Dusty. I do not gaze longingly at Him, waiting on His every word and gesture, listening for His voice. How can I, as a writer (and a Christian writer at that), be sharing from the richness of my heritage if I don’t acquaint myself with all that God has blessed me with?
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45 NIV)
In my journey as a writer, I need to take seriously my spiritual disciplines. I know this would be beyond me if not for the signposts that God has placed along the way. Sometimes, it’ll be the spiritual friends who walk alongside me. Many times it’ll be God’s Word that will cut me to the core. Daily, though, it’ll be Dusty, reminding me of the quality of my devotion. Every single day, for the past 11 years of his life, he has shown me what it is to be singlemindedly focused on his relationship with his master(s) and his food.
God’s love has been unconditional…I have stumbled and fallen so often, I have permanent scars on my hands and knees. Yet God has shown me time and again that He’ll pick me up, brush the dust off me and nudge me along my way, sorer but wiser. And blessed with even more fodder for my writing.
Dear Heavenly Father, please continue to help me hunger for your Word and your ways, that your goodness may overflow out of my brimming heart to touch a world in need.
Bernice Lee is the host chair of LittWorld 2015 in Singapore, November 1 to 6. LittWorld is the only international Christian publishing conference of its kind! Join more than 200 writers, editors, designers and publishers from around the globe. Learn more.
This article was submitted in conjunction with MAI devotional writing contest and future devotional book (details to come).
Photo above by Arvind Balaramin, Freedigitalphotos