by Rachael Phillips
Thank you, Lord, for the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference. Many of us will attend this premier event in Christian writing to learn from some of Your most incredible servants how to hone our craft and sell our work.
However, at the moment, on the eve of this blessed event, we don't feel so blessed. Even our technology conspires against us. Sensing our urgency, printers have re-set themselves on mangle. Computers have translated our sell sheets--and Help--into Sanskrit.
Besides, the dog ran off today, the freezer quit, the toilet clogged, and, thanks to four consecutive weekends of family reunions during August, the cute conference clothes will fit only if we do our breathing at night. During the past twenty-four hours, spouses, children, bosses and babysitters all sprained their right ankles, joining in a weepy guilt-chorus of "How can you le-e-e-e-eave us!" We told them You would be with them, Lord, but they don't seem to believe us.
Throw in airport people obsessed with quart plastic bags, planes equipped with insomniac babies and teeny half-seat bathrooms, and/or freeways where even GPSes refuse to travel, we cannot remember our names upon arrival, let along our pitches. Have mercy upon us, Jesus. Help us pull ourselves together and remember You are with us, too. Please provide a nearby Starbucks and an infinite chocolate supply. And we would appreciate it if our baggage made it back from Denmark before the end of the conference.
We pray for those who for various reasons could not share this experience--who remain home tracking down the dog, cleaning out the freezer, plunging the toilet and caring for the 37 people who sprained their ankles--all the while working on the stories You have put in their hearts, wishing they could be with us. We miss them, Lord. And we pray the ending to their next year's conference story will prove a happier one.
Help us keep our eyes on You, Father. Remind us that You love us all, even those who receive the contracts and/or awards we crave and the editors and agents who tell us, "Thanks, but no thanks." Give us a sense of humor and humility in all we do. May You, the author of our salvation, be glorified in the excellence and beauty of our art. And may Your Book of Life contain many names of those who read Your story in our writing and our lives.