In the movie, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her friends, Tinman and Scarecrow, are skipping along the yellow brick road on their way to see the Wizard, when all of a sudden they stumble across a big, scary-looking, enchanted forest. Being the brave souls they are, the trio decides to venture into the darkness and, along the way, end up convincing each other that hidden behind the twisting shadows are lions and tigers and bears. Oh my!
Of course we know shortly thereafter a lion does jump out. And we know at first he does intimidate the threesome. But later we also find out Mr. Lion is there because his call is the same as Dorothy’s, Tinman’s, and Scarecrow’s.
Conferences, seminars, and workshops are, many times, viewed the same way as the trio viewed the enchanted forest: Big, dark, and scary, filled with prowling agents, editors and publishers. Thus we begin our journey into the unknown by reciting a chant of “lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” until we’re finally convinced that the only thing these “beasts” want to do is tear us apart. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.
Or maybe you view your conference-forest as filled with enchanted writers who have already met their wizard and are on their way back home to Kansas, leaving you alone to be pummeled by rotten apples. If that’s the case, look around. Chances are, others like you are standing on that yellow brick road, scared and alone, wondering if they’ll ever get out of the forest alive. Link arms with them. Let them become your reinforcement as you walk through the maze of appointments, workshops, and general sessions.
Just remember, despite all the possible obstacles that want to hinder your conference journey, the LORD is there with you, for you, to make straight the crooked yellow brick road and direct you toward the Emerald City—even if the pathway there sometimes looks like a dark, scary, enchanted forest.