Gary is a Bellingham, Washington-based writer and speaker. In the Center for Evangelical Spirituality, which he founded, he shares how believers can learn a great deal from historic Christian traditions without compromising the essential tenets of what makes them evangelical Christians.
Gary says he is a big-time introvert who runs marathons and takes his wife, Lisa, and their three kids to Starbucks “far too often.”
What He Said…Roll of Rejection
I‘d been invited to deliver a commencement address as an author who also speaks widely. But I wanted the students to see someone wondering if anyone would ever want to hear what he believed God had given him to say.
I knew that 99 percent of the kids wouldn’t remember a thing I said. So I prayed about providing a picture that would stick with them.
I found it in my rejections box. My family helped me staple and tape together over 150 rejection letters I’d received from publishers over the years: editors telling me my work wasn’t wanted.
When I told the young graduates that God’s calling doesn’t mean there’ll be no setbacks, I nodded to a few students who began to unroll my rejection letters. Murmurs, laughs, and gasps were unleashed throughout the auditorium as the roll grew longer and longer, ultimately stretching across the entire ballroom.
You see, many Christians don’t fail; they just quit before they get ripe.
Adapted from Authentic Faith (Zondervan, 2002)
Prayer for the Week: Thank you, Savior, for enduring all the way to the cross. Give me the stamina to be a finisher.