One of the most frustrating things for authors is the actual climb for success. Authors typically don’t mind working through writer’s block or plotting out a new novel. We normally aren’t fazed by sleepless nights and double-duty days. It’s the steep climb for success that worries us. It’s a ladder that seems to have no end, and how do you know when you’ve reached the top of the Success Ladder?
Is it when you reach #1 on the sales chart? Or when you stay #1 for x amount of weeks? Or are you simply trying to out due a fellow author…secretly, of course. 😉
Or are your ambitions more humble? Will you be content to make just one new fan? What if that fan forgets to tell you that you’ve hooked them? What if your best reviewers neglect to share their thoughts on Goodreads? What if your work is a hit with 100% of the readers who find it only… very few people find it?
How can we find success in our work? How do we know when we’ve found it? Will it bring satisfaction when we’ve found it?
For all these reasons, and so many more, authors often despair at trying to climb this never ending ladder. I’m not above the norm. I often find myself sinking instead of climbing. And it’s in this dark place that I reach for a lesson about success that never fails to comfort.
“Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men…For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men…”
You see, if your work is of God then it cannot be stopped. “Being unstoppable” is a solid definition of success. God promises success for the projects that He ordains. BUT this success may not look like the success we’ve dreamed of. It may not happen in the timeframe that we’ve hoped for. But your success, according to the will of God, is a promise from God, Himself.
But there’s one more thing that we have to note. The lesson isn’t complete without it. In the following paragraph, the Bible records this event next:
“His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged…and let them go.”
Let your eyes fall upon that word “flogged” again. It’s true, that God’s servants will see success in the works He had given them to do, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be flogged. The next time you feel like you’re being beaten for your work, or maybe by it, remember that flogging may be a part of His plan, not to tear you apart but to build you up for the work He has for you.
~To read the Biblical passages in context: Acts 5:12-42~