|Photo Credit: Marcel Hol/Stock.XCHNG|
Does your hand itch to sign on the dotted line securing an agent or a book contract? Perhaps your fingers long to feel the weight of the pen as you autograph the first copy of your very own published novel. Or maybe you dream of the day when you press your written imprint across the “Endorse Here” line of your first royalty check.
I recently read an account of John Green, the Indianapolis-based YA author who, before the release of his fourth book, The Fault in Our Stars, pledged to sign every first edition print of the book. His first three books each ran around 20,000-30,000 copies, so this sounds like a worthy goal. Imagine Green’s shock when his anxious teenage fans pre-ordered enough books to put it in Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com's No. 1 spot before it was completely written and the publisher ran 150,000 books in the first printing. Green required steroid treatments, but he fulfilled his pledge to sign every copy.I thought of this in light of the recent debate concerning the decision in many schools and states to stop the teaching of cursive handwriting. While many Indiana schools continue to teach it, legislators removed it from the third grade standards with the 2011-12 school year. How are our children ever going to sign contracts, give autographs, or endorse their checks? Will a computer sign their pledges of undying love in notes written to sweethearts? Will a mere number suffice as proof on their marriages licenses? Will their fingerprint serve as the only identification next to their child's footprint on a birth certificate?
I hope it never comes to that. The truth is, we sign our name to those things we treasure and want to prove ownership of or to authenticate. A painting is made valuable by the signature of the artist. A first edition book is considered rare because it bears the autograph of the author. An idea is made law by the scrawl of a president.
Did you know you are also a "signed original"? Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do.” Some versions even use the word "masterpiece" when referring to you and to me. God signs his name to his masterpiece when he put His seal on you. He claims you as His own good work, His rare work of art, His beautiful creation.
And like most things in life, God first sets the example and then asks us to follow. We are told to work at everything as to the Lord. Is your work worthy of your signature? Are you willing to commit your autograph to your writing? What about your relationships? Can you endorse them in good conscience? And your walk with God--does it bear the seal of authenticity?
The year is still fresh and new, a superb time for making changes and commitments to do things better than we have in the past. Signature-worthy things, both in our writing and in our life. Who's with me?