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Shannon Kuzmich

Sufficient Character?

by | Nov 2, 2019

Last night I finished the final testing of a new store on my author site Yes, that was a blatant plug. But not really. It’s more like the period at the end of a final sentence completing a long and meandering suspense novel. But unlike other novels, there is no “The End.” It’s more like a planned beginning.

Now, do I have the character to follow through on my lofty ideals and take the next step? This is a very important question.

If you know me, and most of you don’t, you know that I’m a workaholic. Although my last day as a highly paid IT consultant was December 17th 2017, I haven’t stopped putting in the hours at the keyboard chasing down the promised pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That’s a metaphor. I gave up on making money as an author a long time ago. It takes too much time to market and I end up having too little time to write, plus I’m all stressed out about my numbers and comparing myself to others who seem to be making easy livings while producing mediocre formulaic pieces of … work.

So, I quite often ask God what it is that He wants a crazed workaholic with an insatiable appetite for learning to do with her life at the ripe old age of post-retirement. He just smiles. So, I keep going, allowing things to occur to me at monotonous moments of the day. It’s part of the deal. I don’t try to figure things out and He works in secret testing and stretching and challenging my capacity to trust and obey.

All right. That’s the backdrop. In the practical, I’ve been pulling away from the steady stream of emails, Facebook posts, and indie author podcasts that all motivate, inspire, and send me down yet another rabbit trail hunting the elusive silver bullet. It’s been over two years since I proclaimed myself as an indie. And I’ve realized one thing. There are several organizations and guru-types who’ve been enriched by my endeavors to learn and grow as an author, none of whom are me.

So being the astute and quick-study person I’ve always been, I got a clue. From God. He asked me, “Are you done yet?” and then He said, “Do what I asked you to do in the first place,” which was to write.

I thought about it for a half-second and said, “But …, “and immediately heard “Yes.” This always takes my breath away, as if I live expecting the worst and then the “Yes” comes and the fresh breeze of His understanding clears the way. I was going to ask if I could also do video production work. Yippee.

“But …,” He says. And I await the thought that I know will be something wonderful. “you have to trust me when work time is over … that I will multiply your efforts even when you tell yourself just 30 minutes more will finish the task.”

I groan, knowing myself too well. It is the challenge of my life. Productivity is my first name, Efficiency my middle. In my mind, it is from whence my value as a person comes. Yet, it is cold, competitive, calculating, and myopic.

I have a daughter. Her name is Christina. She is missing most of the left hemisphere of her brain. She wasn’t supposed to arrive in this world intact, but she did and has been beating the odds ever since. That was 14 years ago. God sent her to rescue me.

She’s a workaholic too, never letting up on her efforts to save me from myself. And now she needs more time than ever before because she’s on the cusp of something extraordinary. Her efforts to speak have been different lately. I’m hearing more decipherable words and phrases coming from her mouth and not from her electronic talker. She’s writing more notes to me, drawing more pictures, remembering more abstract concepts and then questioning me about them days later.

It’s become obvious to me that she’s calling me away from my workstation. She wants to play, and she needs a playmate.

That playmate is me.

“Okay, I’ll do it. But I’ll need Your help,” I say.

And, as usual, He says, “Always.”

Not “of course,” like all the kids say today. Does anyone know how that got started? I swear, every time someone says that to me, I hear, “you moron” at the end of the sentence. I know it’s not meant in that way, but that’s what I hear. Sorry, I digress.

Now, if you don’t have any idea why I’m writing this post, let me spell it out (there’s no “you moron” there either). Character is key to life. It develops through the acquisition of wisdom, which often comes through discomfort and suffering. Sorry, it’s just the way things go; no one gets wisdom through book-knowledge alone.  Anyway, God has been nudging me along the path of character renovation for years, testing my faith and asking me to stop trying to control everything out of some long gone need to protect myself.

But … I’m a doer. I need to be doing something all the time. And that’s why this is so hard. He’s asking me to set aside my “doings” to make room for Christina’s.

Think about that for a second.

Honestly, I’m reluctant. Yet, for some reason, I know there’s a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow.

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