Isn’t it funny how you can accept a concept basically all your life but not “get it” until someone else’s words trigger a deeper understanding.
For me, that concept is curiosity.
My favorite grad professor made a statement in class this summer about how the key for students’ success correlates to their level of personal curiosity.
We teachers can’t teach curiosity, but hopefully we can make the information so inviting that the students want more. In educational jargon, the students become so engaged in the subject they’re studying that they delve into their personal critical thinking skills to go beyond the target goal.
Curiosity is the key to survival, for if we as a people fail to assert our curiosity, we will fall deep into a pit of apathy and lose all problem solving and initiative taking. Then we will fall susceptible to mind control and submission.
I can’t imagine a life without curiosity. I guess that’s why I like to write. But writers don’t have dibs on curiosity. If scientists and mathematicians don’t ask questions, we will never have the answers that cure diseases, create durable structures, or harness energy.
Lately, I’ve been very curious about God. I have a myriad of unanswered questions, but the one thing I know for sure is that God is love.
I want to tell a good story. I want to make readers laugh—and cry. I want to make readers think. I’m a writer, and I’m a Christian, but I’m not necessarily a Christian writer. I’m a writer who writes from the Christian world view. Perhaps, however, through my simple anecdotes, readers can learn how to find love, how to find God.
But how does a writer convey the message that God is love? Sometimes I have to explain it to myself.
Love is powerful. There is nothing anyone can do to stop love. God loves all people, even if they hate him and even if he dislikes their actions.
But he’s the rule maker. He’s in charge. If he doesn’t want to allow anger, hatred, bitterness, murder, etc. into his home, that’s his business. He prohibits these things because they destroy love.
I make the rules for my personal life: Don’t lie to me. Don’t hurt me. Don’t hurt my family. Don’t use me. Don’t manipulate me. Don’t control me. Don’t ridicule me. Don’t take me for granted.
If people choose to cross these lines, I can shut the door and keep them out of my life.
Likewise, there is nothing that can force love. Not presents. Not money. Not power. Not flattery. Not bribery. Not bargains. People try all of these methods to earn God’s favor, especially when they try to make their own rules while living in his house.
It’s impossible to force love. I can’t make another person love me. I don’t try. I will never beg or plead. Ever. I would rather walk away and keep on walking. Either love is, or it isn’t.
God doesn’t beg either, but because love cannot exist in an environment of evil, God made the Way for imperfect people to find a place in his home.
Again, you can’t force love, but you can leave the door open and wait for it to walk in. God has done that, but when he chooses to close the door, well, that’s up to him.
I’m a teacher. I know. I can’t make my students love me. I can’t even make them like me. It’s up to them. I’ll never beg or bribe them. I’d rather accept the truth than live a lie.
As a writer, my goal is to create characters that echo the same emotions and struggles that all people go through. It’s inevitable. When readers get into a book, they readily identify with one of the main characters and live vicariously through him or her or it. They feel what the character feels.
I think we all seek love, regardless of our ages, but teens, especially, crave love. Unfortunately, what they often settle for is not love—it’s a cheap counterfeit.
I don’t be a Pollyanna, but I like happy endings. My manuscripts are full of humor, of course, but what I really want to stand out in them is love—not just romantic love, which may be lust in disguise, but real love.
And what is real love? It’s not so hard to define.
- Real love protects. The counterfeit hurts.
- Real love puts others first. The counterfeit doesn’t care about others as long as its own needs are met first.
- Real love forgives. The counterfeit holds grudges and reminds others of their failures.
- Real love offers hope. The counterfeit delivers despair.
- Real love is truth. The counterfeit is just one big lie.
You are the main character in your own life. Where is your curiosity taking you? Do you ever question love?