The difference between cynicism and sovereignty

Jun 30, 2011Find joy today, Write!

I’ve been ruminating again. (Watch out! Danger!)

Someone recently said to me, “Your time has come.” I nodded and didn’t really respond. Though I know that I should be forward thinking and positive, a part of me can’t wrap my heart or mind around those words. I have no doubt that God could cause my career to grow and flourish, but I also have been on this earth long enough to know He may not.

Many of you who have followed my journey for several years know that it’s not all roses and dark chocolate (though I like both!). Publishing and ministry and speaking is just a lot of plain, undecorated hard work. Recently I tweeted: “Dreams always have hard work attached.” And that is true.

But last night as I realized I worked yet another way-too-long day for way-too-less money, I wondered if I went overboard on the hard work part.

Hard work is my answer to stress or disappointment.

I’ve been on the elation curve before, where folks say things (or I say things to myself) like “This is it. This book will be the breakout!” And then twenty-five days later realize it was just a bunch of hype. And then cynicism drags itself to my pity party. I think destructive things like:

  • What is the point of working hard? Nothing pays off.
  • The publishing gods are against me.
  • Working as a Stuff Mart greeter sounds pretty appealing right now.

I’ve come around from the school of cynicism, thankfully. I’m slowly learning to hold all things extremely loosely. I’m learning to work hard, rest well, and place every single word, ambition, project into the sovereign hands of the God who holds the universe together. He is the best publisher, editor, agent, marketer and publicist I could have. He is smarter than everyone on earth combined. He knows me better than I know me, and I can trust that His plan is best for me.

I still thank Him profusely that I didn’t break out on my first book (or 2nd or 3rd or 4th or 5th or 6th or 7th or 8th or 9th or 10th). My ego would’ve exploded my head. That wouldn’t have been pretty, folks.

I wish I had a simple solution for those of you battling cynicism. Sometimes it’s hard to wrap our hearts and minds around sovereignty, isn’t it? Still, it is the truth. So I’m battling to rest there.


Have you struggled in your ministry/career with cynicism? Disappointment? Unmet expectations? Failure? If so, how did you make it through? I so look forward to your advice.