Romania, Sylvia Bambola lived her early years in Germany. At seven she relocated with her adopted family and saw the Statue of Liberty and America for the first time. But the memory of those years in post World War Germany inspired her to write Refiner’s Fire, which won a Silver Angel Award, and was a Christy Finalist. Her frequent moves as an “army brat” gave her an opportunity to see America and fall in love with her new country. Bambola has authored seven novels, has two grown children, teaches women’s Bible studies, and is learning the guitar.
Finding Your Value in a Bargain Basement World
by Sylvia Bambola
We have all heard that God has a plan for our lives . . . a destiny He wants us to fulfill. Powerful words, high words, true words. Words denoting our worth. And yet often this reality seems to get lost in the day to day minutia of ordinary life as we go about doing laundry, the dishes, making beds, etc. And if we are writers, this can even be exacerbated.
Writing is hard work, done alone and often unnoticed. It usually takes years to develop our craft, years of learning, practicing, and dedication. And when we finally get published, so often the sales are not what we had hoped. The book’s rank is caught in a subterranean basement somewhere. That’s when the rubber hits the road, that’s when Christian writers will often question if they have heard God at all. Was it really His voice they heard commissioning them to write? Or that huge meatball hero?
Times like this we are tempted to buy into the world’s measuring rod of value. Sales, book ranking, name recognition, number of reviews are all fine but really don’t measure value at all. And it’s especially at this time that writers must fight the feeling that they are not important. Not in the grand scheme of things, anyway. And their writing, insignificant.
Now why is that? Why is it easy for us who know God, to lose our perspective about our worth? Because we live in a world with two value systems: God’s and the world’s and sometimes we blend the two. We take old ways of thinking that we haven’t yielded to God or old hurts or old prejudices, and blend them with God’s perspective. And this mixed thinking robs us of our value in our own minds.
The world values outward beauty and outward accomplishments, and this system often creates disastrous results. Consider these facts:
· 1% of all American female adolescents have anorexia—that’s 1 out of 100 girls between the ages of 10-25 who are starving themselves
US secular marriages 41% of 1st
marriages end in divorce; 60% of all 2nd marriages; and 73% of all 3rd
· In Christian marriages 60% of Christians who rarely attend church get divorced
· More than 1/3 of all school aged children are latchkey
On the other hand, what God considers of great price is a meek and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:3 KJ). And all our service, all our accomplishments are just so much wood, hay and stubble if done with the wrong motive. Our works should be done in obedience to God’s direction and to glorify Him—period. We are instructed to do all as unto the Lord. We are supposed to be building God’s kingdom, not ours. I had to learn this in my writing. Actually, I had to learn it more than once.
God’s word tells us in Romans 12:2 “Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” The world wants to conform us, while God wants to transform us. Remember that.
So why are we valuable? Because we are made in the image and likeness of God. Because we have been bought by the blood of Jesus, called by His name, and are joint heirs with Him, because He knows us by name and loves us and because He really does have a plan and purpose for us. Wow! Nothing beats that. And if we writers will simply obediently follow His lead in our work, and let Him do with it what He wills, the greatest prize of all awaits us, that of hearing our precious Lord tells us: “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”
Book Summary of The Salt Covenants:
“Bambola (Rebekah’s Treasure) elevates a simple historical tale into something transcendent, in this beautifully written novel about a young Jewish noblewoman, Isabel, who flees the Inquisition on Christopher Columbus’s second voyage to the
World.” Publishers Weekly starred review
“But these plans they have laid out for me like an embroidered rug, showing me where my feet must travel, is to me an awful penance for sins I did not commit.” Isabel