“So, when will it be enough?”
Mary DeMuth and I were hanging out in the coffee shop here at Mt. Hermon, chatting frankly about the writing business. I was asking myself the question by bouncing it off of her. Mary is an incredible writer, a true woman of God, a good friend, a transparent servant. I knew I’d get an honest answer—or, at the very least, enjoy a rich conversation.
First, though, I got a knowing chuckle.
It’s the rutted trap forged by all dreams, deepened by all success. I’ve had an incredible week here at Mt. Hermon, a “successful” week. I currently have two publishing houses and a pair of agents requesting to see my latest manuscript about time travel. It feels wonderful. Which is why I remind myself of the rut I must avoid.
“If I could just get published. That’s my goal.”
Then you get published.
“One book is wonderful, don’t get me wrong. I just want to do it again. You know, to prove myself.”
So it happens.
“Okay, now that I’ve got two, I have to start thinking of serious branding. I need to write another book that establishes me in this niche.”
“People are starting to look at me as an expert in the field. Which is awesome. But my sales topped out at 20,000 last time around. If I could crack 50,000 this time around, Lord…”
And then 100,00. And then a best-seller list. And then the top of the list. And then… I ask again, where does it end? What’s success?
This is not just about writing, is it? What about your dreams, your career, your friendships, your financial position, your marriage, your renovations?
I’m reminded of a leveling quote from Steven Furtick: “It will be enough when he is enough.” One of my favorite verses is, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” When you want God more than anything, he will give you what you want—which is now him, primarily. Mary and I agreed.
It’s a tricky thing. The Bible doesn’t teach us to reject aspiration, to avoid greatness, to spurn success, to shoot for the moon. Just the opposite, in fact. What it does teach us is to put our faith in God, to look to him for affirmation and validation. Because the real question, the one gaping beneath the surface, is not, “When will IT be enough?” but “When will I be enough?”
And only God can answer that question.