I have the basic storyline in mind. I have from the start. It is to teach young people what being a Christian is all about. Sure, the goal of belief is to gain a reward for the self, but the path to the reward is itself rewarding. Along the path, Christians must all defeat the flesh and love God; we all war between self-worship, and worshiping the One True God.
Writing this book challenges me. I must do more than speak the truth, but I too must walk the path. In my book the kids and Kidds are walking the path. Things keep trying to pull them to the wayside. The book is about standing firm; the reward is in sight, but it's the distance that's the problem. They have trouble with the flesh on a few occasions. It makes me aware that my own walk is strewn with potholes. I can easily write how to avoid them, but life is harder than fiction. The path is a difficult one. God knows that. That's what grace counteracts. He allows us some freedom to deviate without condemning, then pulls us back just as we slip and slide all over the place.
When telling the kids in the book how to avoid pitfalls, it makes me quite aware of my own shortcomings; and there are many. When I write about faith, I meditate for quite some time, and come up with what my fictional kids need to hear. I perceive that when those thoughts come to me, it's for my own use too. Sure, my wish is that others buy the book, and follow Christ more closely, but writing the book is inspiring me to change. Frankly, my life is more about me than it is about God. Are you surprised? I am no different than you! I would bet that your own life is more about you than God or others. I see it in your actions. I know my own self-interests because I reflect on my motives.
To be honest, I write for two reasons: (1) To lead others to Christ and encourage change, and (2) To leave a legacy. The first is my obedience to the Great Commission. The latter is my desire to elevate myself.
I'm sure God won't think: Larry writes a good book. He deserves to go to heaven.
One outcome of writing this book is that I am reinforced: I don't deserve anything! My hope is that God takes me to his home anyway. I have a little faith. My hope is that it's enough to get me to heaven; what preachers call fire-insurance. However, God's expectation is that I live for him. That is much harder because of strongholds; those sins we hang onto.
We all hang onto pride and self-interest. The content of those are all sorts - addictions, hateful thoughts, jealousy, lust, knowledge, and so forth. God's desire is that we allow him to tackle all those for us. It's only our place to ask him to. Just as Lot's wife, we look back at our places of pleasure, and to be honest, our minds may as well be pillars of salt!
I stand ashamed right now! I do not do what I know to do, but what I want to do. Paul had the same problem as I do... and you!
When we think: I've got that licked; it comes back to haunt us. We don't lick anything. God does! We need only to allow him to. I keep God at a distance; too far away much of the time, even as I read and write his word. Satan's angels tell me I'm a hypocrite. Yes, I am! All Christians are because we do what we know not to do. I don't deny it. I don't want to be, but I am. If I deny it, then I am lying to myself and to God.
By studying the Word, I know what I am. I'm not proud of me at all. Pride is not a ticket to anywhere, but hell. There any person is mere fuel for the fire. I desire to be more than that, but Satan wants to keep the fire burning. He knows that I am good firewood. However, God wants this wood more than he does!
Writing my book has made me examine myself. I should never be pleased with what I see. I have a mirror; it gives a good image of who I am. I am not all that God wants me to be.
Pray for me. I always need prayer. I need to change. Change is never-ending. I will never be like Christ, yet we all are called to be.
Theology is good. It's studying God. I do that all the time. But studying God is not loving God. Even Satan knows all about God. He just has no love for him. My biggest problem is failing to love others. That also is your biggest problem. By not loving others, we are not loving God. We love our selves too much. It's me who stands in God's way. Satan just stands back and takes the credit.
My hope is that everyone examine themselves. I have had some who examined me thoroughly, and don't like what they see. They have wasted their time. I know who I am, and even I don't like what I see! Others would be wise to look at their own reflections, and if it's not what God wants, to clean up the image is more than Windexing the mirror, it is using Mr. Clean on ourselves.
With that said, for those who despise me, I deserve that. Never say that I don't deserve anything because I do: I deserve death, but Christ suffered it for me.