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Stepping onto the Road

Song of Songs 2:4

New International Version (NIV)
Let him lead me to the banquet hall,
    and let his banner over me be love.

I am full of gratitude for the sense of belonging at Write! Canada, and for the intensive instruction, inspiration and fellowship packed into the two and a half days. 

Back in April, I had a mental image as one of my colleagues prayed. It was an image of a person I knew was Jesus, with his back to me and towards a person who was surrounded by balls lying on the floor. My colleague had been praying for help juggling the balls we all try so hard to keep up in the air.

The figure in the foreground picked up a blue ball from the ground and placed it so gently and lovingly in her hands; cupping her hands with both of his. The ball he gave her was the one to hold in that moment--it was the opposite of the stress of juggling balls, trying to keep them all in the air.

The image impacted me then and guides me daily, to submit my agenda to God moment by moment, but it wasn't until I was leaving Write! Canada on Saturday, that the message went even deeper.

The conference was at an end. Rooms had been emptied and cases loaded into cars as we prepared to scatter like seeds packed with promise, to all corners of Canada.

Ramona, a member of the prayer team, with short golden hair, tanned face and smiling tawny eyes, was giving out Word Guild, "stress reduction balls," to the departing writers. She headed in my direction, hand outstretched with one for me. As she pressed the ball into my hand, eyes smiling into mine, my eyes filled with tears, and I laughed and cried at its significance to me; for this, I knew, was the ball I was meant to carry. Its message: Changing the world with Words.

The next morning; Sunday; I knew that if I was seriously to follow this call, I had to step down from the worship team. Whenever I have thought about it before, it has felt like a difficult decision, but not now.  

My friend Frances, who leads our team, apologized for forgetting to tell me about last Tuesday's practice. "It was a ball I dropped," she said; I smiled inwardly.

As I told each person that needed to know, there were nothing but blessings on my decision when people heard the reason. 

Frances held my hand tightly and said, "Nothing will change--except that you will become a better writer."

“He used often to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep, and every path was its tributary. 'It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,' he used to say. 'You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.” ― J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring

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