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Whatever You DoAugust 30, 2015
To my joy and amazement, I have just finished writing my very first novel. It is based on true historical events whose painful impact on indigenous peoples I have personally witnessed. It also contains mystery, romance and adventure. My book is in the sculpting, editing process now, but it is whole and even has a happy ending that brought me to tears. I hope future readers will love it half as much as I do, having become terribly attached to the characters, to the point that I dream about them.
Writing, for me and other authors, is something like open heart surgery. It takes nothing less than exposing one's passion on the page. As author Red Smith says, "Writing is easy. All you do is stare at the blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." I believe that any work we do with our whole hearts is like falling in love. We give everything. We hold nothing back.
Colossians 3:23-24 says, "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance..."
I know people here in Paradise who work with this dedication. They brew the best coffee, prepare the most delicious food, choreograph awesome traditional dances, keep up a constant patter of jokes and one-liners as they transport tourists, tend gardens with constant care and creativity, give the most serene, intuitive massages, and clean with such loving attention that they leave every room shining with cleanliness.
Like anything in this life, working with excellence is an act of love. British artist and critic John Ruskin said, "Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort. When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece."
As a writer, I seek the most expressive word possible. I strive for the most natural conversation between characters. I invite the reader to experience all their senses as I describe the fragrance of a frangipani, the taste of a mango, the sheen on a wedding dress, the crack of a rifle shot.
The Baha'i teachings say that "work done in the spirit of service is the highest form of worship." My four year old granddaughter and I were recently picking up rubbish along the road. I told her, "Do you know that when we help the earth like this, we're praying?" "Ye-ah!" she replied, as if to say "Isn't that obvious?"
When we work with love and excellence, we bless whatever we touch and whoever we serve. Spend a day giving your very best to everything you do and to every relationship you have. There is no greater joy in life.