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Star Wars and Novel Writing

Confession time: I love Star Wars. I guess that’s not much of a confession these days as geek-dom has become cool somehow (where was that when I was in elementary school?), but I am a Star Wars nut. While I am a bit of a purest and still hold the original trilogy as the best, I even have a mild appreciation for the prequels (no haters, please). Last December as the latest episode was released, I was nervous about how Disney would handle it, but I geeked-out nonetheless.

I planned the event months in advance. My birthday is in December, so I announced to my family that the four of us would be going to the movies that day, even though it would be around two weeks after the release date. (On a side note, I almost never go to a movie on opening night. Too many people. Too much chewing of popcorn. Seriously, the sound of a hundred chomping mouths drives me insane.)

One problem…the movie came out, and it was all people would talk about. I couldn’t avoid it. As a teacher, I had to daily instruct my students to be quiet about the details lest they ruin it for me. Life became a never-ending quest to avoid any spoilers. After about a week, I had enough. “We’re going tonight!” I told my family. I couldn’t wait any longer. The end result? Relief. While I greatly enjoyed the film (it was not perfect, but overall well done), I mostly was just relieved that I saw it before I went crazy with the stress.

Have you ever felt that way? Did you have something to do that just had to be done or else you would burst? While going to see a movie is a bit trivial, that feeling was the same for me as I wrote The Chase. I have been asked several times why I chose to write a novel of all things (many people expected a non-fiction since I was a former pastor). The Chase was born out of a dream I had in 2013, which compelled me to write a few notes in the middle of the night. From that day forward, the story grew in my mind to the point I could not let go of it. I would frequently share the idea of writing the book with friends with no real intention of writing it. It was a good friend who finally told me, “Bradley, you have to write that book. You light up every time you mention the idea.” He went on to suggest that perhaps God had given me a story to write. So I did. I had no experience as a writer, but I read a few articles on how to start a novel and began writing. Little did I know the great joy I would find in writing. I loved every moment, and it gave me joy in a season when I was desperate for it. The Chase was God’s tool to see me through a dark season. And now I have a novel that so far, people seem to enjoy. It’s a tangible testament to His grace for me.

Friend, has God placed something inside of you that is just bursting to come out? Has He given you something creative to do that maybe even scares you? Maybe He is telling you to pursue that business idea or to go back to school to change careers. Maybe He is telling you to reach out to that person in need or get involved in the community. Maybe He is telling you to change your major or risk your overly safe plans to pursue something you love doing.

“Trust your gut” is a popular phrase in our culture. Last I checked, my gut was not worthy of my trust (seriously, the last time I ate pizza at 10pm was ‘no bueno’). Rather I challenge you this way: Trust Your God. If God has placed something in your heart that you discern is clearly from Him, follow it. Do it. Don’t hesitate. Don’t squash it or try to kill it

in the name of ‘I can’t do that.’

Take a risk, friend. Go for it.

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