The ancient muses, it was thought, helped create works of art and literature. But the God in whom I believe is about creating certain kinds of people, shaping them into men and women who believe, hope, and love. While I do think God cares about the works we create, I believe that God is more interested in the process and its effect upon us. God is in the dying – the struggle and the wounds and the agony, just as much as he is in the rising – the gleaming product at the end. Out of the chaos of the writing life, God is forming us to be people who are humbled, disciplined, persevering, surprised, grateful. And if, through the writing process, we allow ourselves to be shaped into new kinds of people, then perhaps writers will come to be known for more than just being crazy.
A beach sand-building competition. One boy and girl finished a magnificent castle, and then wandered round looking at the other children’s efforts. When they came back they found a boy had occupied their castle and was making alterations and adding what he thought were improvements.
‘What are you doing ”that’s our castle!’
‘No, it’s mine now. You left it.’
‘But it’s our castle!’
‘What do you mean, yours? You didn’t pay for the sand, did you?’
‘But it’s our castle ”we MADE it and we can do what we like with it, or destroy it or anything, because we made it.’
And, of course, everybody said they were right, the intruder was turned out, and they won the prize.
God made me, out of nothing, and so I belong to Him. I am His to do what He likes with.
– Rev. F.H. Drinkwater, Catechism Stories Part I: the Creed (1939)