On Monday I was at Union Chapel in London, to hear Rob Bell (left) talk about his new book “What we talk about when we talk about God” (which, by the way, is awesome), and do a question and answer session.
As ever, Bell was top class, proving himself again as an exceptional speaker and communicator, and his message really resonated with me.
But one other element struck me whilst listening to him speak.
The energy he had sharing his message. The infectious enthusiasm for the topic. The heart behind his talk. As he drew towards the end, he was moved almost to tears sharing his heart with us.
The water welling up in his eyes crystallised just how much he cared about his message. How what he was sharing was not simply a speech prepared for an audience, as much as it was an outpouring of his heart.
You got the impression this was man who has no care about people’s opinions, about how many books he sells, or any selfish ambition at all. This is someone who cared about important issues which matter, had insights into them, and simply wanted to share his heart and his gift with the world.
Watching him, you could see the message was alive within him, as his body moved around the stage, the message like rocket fuel setting his body and soul alight.
It was compelling. And I knew watching, that if no one had listened, he would still have shared it. If no one bought his book, he would still write another. Just to stay true to his heart. (you can tweet that here)
And as I began to see this, I felt an inner joy. I felt a surge of enthusiasm about my craft. Like a jolt of electricity through my body, my heart pumping a little faster, my soul convulsing with inspiration. Then a moment of clarity.
Writing is something I get to do.
It’s a gift, God’s special present to me. I have messages I want to be heard,
and just to share them is an honour.
And because it’s an honour, I have a responsibility to do it well. To write the best material I can, presented as professionally as possible. Because I care about the message, and I want others to hear it. So I won’t do it half heartedly, like an amateur does. But as a professional (man, has God really held me to making “professional” one word for this year!)
I will write the books. I will update my blog. I will submit guest posts. All to the best of my ability.
And above all, I will share what’s on my heart. I will pour myself into this.
If people don’t like it, if people disagree, if it’s not popular, so what? What’s important is the message being shared. And being true to what’s pumping out of my heart and not worrying about the outcome.
Bell also reminded me how much I want to write books and to speak about them publicly. The whole idea scares me in many ways, but it also excites me – because I just love talking about what’s on my heart, what really matters.
To write and to share my heart. To write books and then go speak to people about those books. What a joyful experience it would be.
Above all however, I want to pursue my craft. I want to become a better writer, to love the art and craft of writing, the very act of creating and sharing, more than the outcome, and to be so engrossed in the message, and bearing my heart and soul, that the outcome no longer matters.
Rob Bell so clearly does this, and it’s an incredible thing to witness. It was a privilege to be at Union Chapel to hear him speak.
May we all be as true to ourselves and our craft.
By the way, if you’ve not read Rob Bell’s new book I’d highly recommend it. He talks more about in this short video:
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