I remember walking with a friend to junior high school and asking her, “Is this all there is? We get up, go to school, go home, sleep and do it all over again. Is this all there is to life?” Years later I would be reminded of that moment when I heard the song by Steven Curtis Chapman, “More to This Life”. I grew up going to a church where I didn’t clearly hear the message of the Gospel and yet, the Holy Spirit was nudging my heart and awakening me to the truth that there was more to this life.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “…He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” (Amplified)
At last week’s Mile High Scribes meeting, Denise Holmes spoke on “The Moral Premise” based on the book of the same name by Stanley Williams. She shared how if a story doesn’t connect emotionally with the audience (reader), it is unsatisfying. Based on the above scripture, we can reason that without “eternity” in our stories, they also will be unsatisfying.
What do we mean by “eternity” or something “eternal”? As Christian writers this sparks many a debate as to whether we should write stories with scripture verses and a clear message of the Gospel or if we can have the messages of unconditional love, redemption and forgiveness without specifically getting into the person of Christ.
I believe the answer is found in what God has called you to write. For a book to resonate with believers and unbelievers, the common thread is the truth that God has planted eternity in our hearts. Whether we have reached the point in our lives where we recognize that “only God can satisfy” that vacuum or if we are still seeking to fill that gnawing hole with material things, other relationships or power. This is the “spiritual thread” that can be in our characters no matter who we are writing for.
I encourage you first of all to be sure that you understand personally what it means to have God satisfy the eternity in your heart. This is something that is more than a single decision, but as others have shared this month, an ongoing commitment to spending time with our Creator. He can fill the deepest longings of our heart and equip us to better understand how to convey that to our audience.
Elaine Clampitt is Secretary/Treasurer of Mile High Scribes, the ACFW South Denver Chapter. After homeschooling her 4 children, serving as Treasurer of a private high school, and owning her own company for 10 years, Elaine is now enjoying the “empty-nest” season of her life by pursuing her passion for writing and ice hockey. She is excited that the Colorado Avalanche made the play-offs this year.
Elaine will be speaking at next month’s Mile High Scribes meeting on “Embrace the Vision.” For more information see www.milehighscribes.blogspot.com. You can learn more about women in the world of ice hockey at www.thewomenof hockey.com.