I just sent off a proposal to my agent. A process that I've found doesn't get easier with time. Those questions niggle in the back of my mind every time my cursor hovers over that "send" button: "What if she hates it? What if she reads it and regrets signing me? What if all my ideas are tired and predictable? What if I've lost my ability to perceive a good idea from a bad one?" And so on.
So I'm grateful for the story in John 6 of the little boy who helped Jesus feed five thousand. The story is in my preschoolers rhyme Bible, which my daughter constantly reads (seen pictured below) so I've become extra familiar with the events.
According to John 6, there's a crowd following Jesus and he asks his disciples where they should buy bread for everyone to eat. The disciples cannot conceive of how they'll manage to feed such a crowd, but Andrew brings forward a boy who has "five small barley loves and two small fish." We're told that Jesus gave thanks for the food, began to distribute it to the crowd, and miraculously there was even food left over. Enough to fill twelve baskets, we're told.
My entire life, I've read this as an account of what happened that day. Which is a fine way to read it.
But the last time I read to McKenna the story of "The Boy who Shared His Lunch," it struck me as a parable for what happens when we see a need and do our best to meet it while offering our work to Jesus.
The boy sees that there is a need. A huge need. I'm guessing he never dreamed his lunch would feed the entire crowd, but he came forward thinking it might be able to feed somebody. He sacrificed. And Jesus took what little the boy sacrificed and supernaturally met the need at hand.
There's nothing wrong with you wanting to be the best you can be. With wanting to be the best swimmer or the best student or the best friend. Colossians 3:23 says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."
But don't worry when you fall short. Don't worry when the need around you seems far too large for you to hope to make even a dent. We learn from the boy who shared his lunch, who sacrificed personal comfort to meet the needs of others, that God can stretch your talents, abilities, time, and riches to go further than you ever could have imagined.
The proposal I sent to my agent isn't perfect. I'll never be able to make it so. But I've done my best and now it's time to turn it over to Jesus. He gave me the inspiration, He sees the needs it can meet, and now the wait begins. Not the nail-biting wait to see if this book will sell, but the eager, joy-filled wait to see Jesus show up and fill some baskets.
Stephanie Morrill is a twenty-something living in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and two kids. Her only talents are reading, writing, and drinking coffee, so career options were somewhat limited. Fortunately, she discovered a passion for young adult novels a few years ago and has been writing them ever since. Stephanie is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series and is currently working on other young adult projects. To check out her blog and read samples of her books, check out www.StephanieMorrillBooks.com and www.GoTeenWriters.com.