Posted by: pendrops | July 31, 2006

promised land


Well, I’ve clocked in. It’s 9:03 and I’m at my desk, living my dream. When I thought about how I would start this day, I considered reading an excerpt from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird to gain insight into the writing life. I also thought about Stephen King’s book, On Writing, or even a short story by Alice Walker, just to get the writing juices flowing. Great writers are great readers, after all.

I also considered strategizing, laying out a plan for the days and months ahead. There are people I should meet with, magazines I should contact, topics I should research. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, so the saying goes.

But neither of those seemed the appropriate way to start this day, my first day as a freelance writer. So, I decided to write. Here’s what came to mind.

This morning, I was reading in Deuteronomy, chapter 11. Moses continues preparing the Israelites to come into the Promise Land. And this is what he tells them as they look across the river at long-awaited blessing and prosperity:

“Love God, your God;
Guard well His rules and regulations;
Obey His commandments for the rest of time.

“Today it’s very clear that it isn’t your children who are front and center here: They weren’t in on what God did, didn’t see the acts, didn’t experience the discipline, didn’t marvel at His greatness, the way He displayed His power in the miracle-signs and deeds that He let loose in Egypt…It was you – your eyes – that saw every great thing that God did.

“So it’s you who are in charge of keeping the entire commandment that I command you today so that you’ll have the strength to invade and possess the land that you are crossing the river to make your own. Your obedience will give you a long life on the soil that God promised to give…

“The land you are entering to take up ownership isn’t like Egypt, the land you left, where you had to plant your own seed and water it yourselves as in a vegetable garden. But the land you are about to cross the river and take for your own is a land of mountains and valleys; it drinks water that rains from the sky. It’s a land that God, your God, personally tends – He’s the gardener – He alone keeps His eye on it all year long.”

That’s what Moses told the Israelites thousands of years ago. And it’s what God is telling me today. In a way, I’m crossing over into a new land, a land He has given me. And He reminds me that He has been always faithful in countless ways. That I have seen His greatness and miracle-signs in my life.

He also reminds me that I am called to obey, not just for obedience sake, but so I can “invade and possess the land.” It’s a simple call to obey Him so I can gain all He has for me.

Finally, God reminds me that this is a land He “personally tends” and “keeps His eye on.” He has led me here and refuses to leave me alone. As I get up each morning to write, read and publish, He will tend to this land and be mindful of me in it.

I guess what all of this means is that my assignment is the same every day: to honor God by faithfully tending the dream He planted in my heart so many years ago. So many years ago when I pecked and pounded an electric typewriter with mystery stories and poems about rain.



  1. I’m so thrilled at the prospect of what l will be blessed to read in the coming days, months, years from the drops of your pen. I share your excitement in the journey!

  2. That is really inspiring. Thanks for sharing your insights. It’s something to remember.

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