I was working on a book in a wild fury. My fingers had been flying across the keyboard for the better part of an afternoon. I was in “the zone,” man. The zone is a very happy place for a writer to be—especially when a deadline is inching nearer. And by “inching” I actually mean barreling down like a locomotive.
Procrastination, however, just seems to be my way. I think it’s because I work so much better with that good, panic-driven rush of adrenaline. I’m pretty sure I do my best writing when I’m just this side of hyperventilation.
My computer had been misbehaving for days, and as the deadline loomed and I was rounding the corner of Chapter 21, my computer did something very evil. It swallowed an entire afternoon’s work. No recovery options. Gone. All that adrenaline down the drain! I felt like I’d been run over by “The Little Engine That Couldn’t.” I’m still considering typing my next manuscript on an Etch-a-Sketch.
There was no way to replace what I’d written. It’s not even that the details I’d put in there were sketchy. They were completely gone from my head. With any creative thought that might crop up in my little brain, the words slowly ooze out of the brain cells, track down the arms and through the fingers, then roll into the computer. But it’s a one-way track. Just trying to remember little tidbits of the book parts I’d lost, I was working myself into a good cry and a whole new level of hyperventilation.
Those times of tears and hyperventilation have a distinctive way of snapping me around to the most basic reality: God is in control. He wasn’t freaking out about those couple of chapters I’d lost. He didn’t have a hand on each of His cheeks with an “Oh no! Never saw that coming. How can I make any ministry happen here now?”
He is in control – and He’s the one I should run to and rest in. When I’m in the midst of a train wreck, and just as enthusiastically when life is clicking along on the smoothest tracks – even when I’m in “the zone.”
He tells us in Isa. 46:10, “I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying, My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.” Beginning, end and everything in between. He’s already written the story. Every chapter.
The psalmist speaks of “the one who by his strength established the mountains, being girded with might; who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples,” (Ps. 65:6-7). A paraphrase of His name here is “Earth-Tamer, Ocean-Pourer, Mountain-Maker, Hill-Dresser, Muzzler of sea storm and wave crash.”
The God who can muzzle the wave crash is certainly not undone by a computer crash. He is the sovereign all-powerful One. The Most High. He is the Redeemer. To say He’s more powerful than a locomotive is the ultimate in understatement. He’s just … MORE.
As you might guess, He was more than powerful enough to redeem the chapters I lost. I even liked the new ones better. Makes me wonder why I ever hyperventilate. Trusting in His power is so much better than breathing into a brown paper bag. And it’s for sure, He’s the only one who can put my loco in any kind of motion.
Rhonda is a pastor’s wife, happily married and living in the St. Louis area. She is a humor columnist for publications in the U.S. and Canada and is the author of 10 books with more on the way. She says she will keep cranking them out as long as the Lord allows. –And the psychoses hold out.