So I am sitting at the re:write 2012 conference and have been blown away. The last two speakers, Paul Young (The Shack) and Ken Blanchard (The One minute Manager) have each sold over 20 million books. The opening speaker, John Kilcullen (the “for dummies” guy) has sold more than 250 million- though he is more of a producer than a writer I suppose. Beyond that there was the brilliant Mark Batterson, George Barna, Peter Strople, Mary DeMuth, Lysa TerKeurst and more.
Yes, the numbers of combined books sold are staggering, but what has amazed me more than anything is the humility in the room. Each speaker has been through the journey of writing, feeling insecure, being turned down many times, rewriting, being turned down again, being laughed at…etc. Each of them has spoken about their journey and given brilliant and practical advice, but more than that, every single speaker seems to have a real and deep relationship with God. They are not just pretending humility, they are men and woman who have become fully comfortable in their own skin, comfortable with who God has called them to be.
I am a writer (at least in part) and though I have no idea why or how, I am one of the speakers at this conference. I have probably sold seven books at this point… wait, I just saw someone walk over to the bookstore and buy one. I have probably sold eight books at this point!
I am still insecure and uncertain and at times I definitely struggle to be “fully comfortable” in my own skin. But in spending time with these incredible men and woman I am learning that it is not their success that has made them comfortable. In fact, in some cases it was success that made them more insecure. It is their full acceptance of what God thinks of them and who He has called them to be.
Hearing these amazing people speak has been inspiring. Yes, I would like to sell a lot of books, but more than anything, more than any success that could come from any product I create, I want to be a man who is fully comfortable with who God has called me to be.
As Paul Young was saying in a session yesterday afternoon… “We are given enough grace to live today. When we spend our energy in fantasy land, dreaming about tomorrow we end up using the grace we have been given today and wasting it on something intangible. When we can be who we are meant to be in this moment, right now, we are living life to the absolute fullest.”
When I spend my days dreaming of becoming a bestselling author or finally making that brilliant film, I have stolen my grace for today.
Its not a bad thing to work toward something and to dream. But to be unhappy or unsettled because we have not yet “accomplished” what we want, to be unhappy with where we are steals our ability to live in the moment.
No matter our perceived success in life, may we be who we are meant to be today.