Pastor Marty’s sermon today was about timing. How timing is everything – in sports, music, life in general.
Anyone who has ever played golf or tennis knows that if your timing is off, your game will suffer. Same goes for singing or playing a musical instrument.
Pastor Marty reminded us how when we were teens, we’d wait for the perfect moment to ask our parents for the keys to the car or to stay out extra late. (I’m not sure I ever mastered the when-to-ask-mom-and-dad thing.) He pointed out how husbands and wives wait for the right time to have a difficult conversation (Translation: hit significant other when he/she is in a good mood).
Timing is everything.
So what does timing have to do with religion or writing? Hang in there, and I’ll explain.
In today’s Gospel lesson (Mark 1:4-45) a leper is healed. Jesus tells him to do what is required by law and tell the priests that he has been healed, but not to tell them how. And, Jesus warns, do not mention it to anyone else.
Jesus wants to be free to come and go and preach and carry out his mission. The timing is not right for the leper to broadcast what Jesus did.
But the leper tells everyone. I can’t blame the dude. He’s happy and excited. I probably would have done the same thing. I mean, he was an outcast and no one wanted anything to do with him. And suddenly he’s normal, like everyone else. Time to grab a beer and celebrate, right?
The leper’s blabbing hampers Jesus’ mission.
“But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.”
The leper’s timing was off. He spoke too soon.
But it’s not too soon for you.
Pastor Marty said that the time is right NOW to share the good news. Unfortunately, too many people keep quiet today. They are afraid to show they are a Christian. But Pastor Marty encouraged everyone to share the love that has cleansed us through our words and actions.
I got to thinking about this whole timing thing and what Pastor Marty had said and it hit me like a fastball. I think he’s right about timing being everything.
I think about this writing journey I’ve been on and how challenging it’s been. Is it, too, about timing? I decided a long time ago that I wasn’t going to write to the market. I was going to write the books I had to write, the ones that I would die if I didn’t.
So I have not written about vampires or zombies or wizards. (Although I love these books and have read many of them.) I’ve written the stories that have been in my heart – the ones I think about when I’m falling asleep at night and the ones I can’t wait to get to the next day.
And they might or might not be what publishing houses are looking for. I hope that they are. I hope that the timing is right. And if it’s not, that I have the perseverance to wait until it is.
Like an athlete who trains and trains, an author writes and writes. Both are preparing to be the best they can be so that when the time is right, they'll have what it takes to break through and succeed.