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Friday, October 10, 2008

Red Light, Green Light

As I was walking my dog today, all the wild things going on in my life came tumbling down around me and this silly game I played in elementary school popped into my head. Do you remember how it went? Someone stands at the finish line and everyone else lines up at the start. The leader yells out "green light" and you run as fast as you can. Then when she yells "red light!" you have to stop on a dime and wait, for if you make a false move, you're out.

That's exactly what a life of faith is like. Now that I realize it, it makes me laugh. All year long I'm praying for a door to open, to move to the Bay Area to be closer to our kids. And, if it's not too much trouble, to get Lee a great job with a builder where he will be appreciated, but can still go do his own projects. And, hey, while I'm at it, I ask to move before the snow piles up, because I don't want to go through another winter up here. And, it'd sure be nice if some agent somewhere wanted to try to sell all my fantasy books and not just one. And right now would be a good time . . . and on the list goes.

So, all year, we are praying, working hard to make ends meet, I'm writing like a big dog, trying to finish my third book in the fantasy series and edit full-time and landscape part-time and it's "red light" forever. Wait, wait, wait. I am hunched over, like a runner at the gate, listening for the starting gun. Wait, wait, wait. Work dries up as the economy takes a dive (and is still diving fast!), and we are sweating this, wondering how God will move us and put us where he wants us and when. We're forced to start looking for change or we'll lose our house. All the jobs that were so neatly lined up to get us through the next year fall through the cracks in one big rush, like a toilet flushing down the drain. All the ducks that were lined up in a row just disappeared under the water and have refused to come back up for air.

So, I start calling contractors in Santa Cruz. I'd like to live near there, so I can walk to the Mount Hermon Writer's Conference each year :) So I Google and get a list. It turns out the first contractor on the list (and completely out of alphabetical order) just happened to be not only a friendly, easy-going guy, but he just lost his lead man and needs someone. We talk and a few days later, he asks if Lee wants to come down and work. So Lee goes down this week and it looks like a big door. At the same time, I get a random flurry of e-mails from an agent I had contracted years ago with one of my contemporary novels. She took a look at my Web site and read about my fantasy books and told me she was so impressed, she wanted all three books done and in her lap by next week. The publisher I've been praying to buy my series (and have been in regular contact with) just happens to be this agent's first choice for my series--and she just awarded them a big auction, so feels she can make an impression. Not that I'm trying to jinx my chances, but even if nothing comes of this, here's the "green light." That means run--fast! Lee runs (well, drives carefully) down at 2 a.m. to start work at a new job. And I write like a maniac to finish the last eighty pages of The Land of Darkness so I can send three complete novels to this agent. We have to look for a house to rent next week, and . . isn't is just a God thing that the only neighbors we have up here have wanted to move into our house from day one, so we have renters for our house.

While the green light is still blinking, I'm running through those doors. I'm exited to see what house turns up that will be the the right one to rent. I'm prepared for the red light, for it may take awhile. I can wait. I know that green light is coming.

So it is with faith. We wait on God. He's the leader. He gives the lights and tells us when to go. If we jump the gun and decide our own rules, things get muddled and disaster results. We have to remember if we let him give us the signals and go and stop when he says, we will make it to the finish line. And that's the goal. To run across that line, waving our arms in joy, and laughing at how fun it was to get there. Now if I can keep that attitude in focus, I'll make it without too many trip-ups!


  1. Oh, isn't it great when we get a green light? The red lights are so hard. But just as in traffic - if we stubbornly cross during a red light, we could get hurt. God knows what and when is best.

    Rejoicing with you for your green lights!

  2. Sounds like you're having an interesting ride. How is it going now?