We were almost killed on the way to the restaurant.
Okay, I'm only exaggerating a little. You see, there's this interstate that goes around Atlanta. It's one big circle, full of potholes and semis. The speed limit is 55mph, but if you drive under 70mph you feel like you're going to be run over. I like to call this highway "Satan". I avoid it at all costs. In fact, I'd rather drive through Atlanta than around it.
But alas, we had to go around. And ten miles out, a group of motorcyclists going 90mph almost took out the entire section of highway. It was too loud for us to talk and too astounding not to comment on. Ironically, it just set the mood. After all, Indian traffic is like nothing I've ever seen in the States. To read a description of it, go here. It seemed appropriate to almost die on the way to dinner. Very... Indian.
As I mentioned on Monday, India is very capricious. Just because we were in America meant that it would be even more unnerving if she changed her mind. But on this evening, India smiled on us. She dropped us off politely--still alive might I add--and even pointed out the Indian grocery store at the end of the shopping mall. We were excited!
When we walked inside, we were in a different world. Hindi music floated from hidden speakers; red was the dominant color of the restaurant. Though none of the patrons were Indian (a possible sign for alarm), the staff was. Instantly my accent came back. I said "thank you" and "water" with flair. We found our favorite dishes on the menu and ordered.
Then we sat back to enjoy the night.
The thing about writing is that it's all a risk. It's dangerous. We're putting our hearts out there, transcribing the stories on our souls onto the printed page. And then we're offering it to people who will slash what doesn't work, honor what does, and tell us the truth about what's left.
If we're not committed, it won't work.
Have you ever read a book where the author didn't commit to the story? Has that ever been said about something you wrote? It's hard to put all of us in our stories. It would be so much easier if we could just walk right up to that vulnerable place and leave it there, without stepping over the line, exposing ourselves, and risking the possibility of getting hurt. Writing would be so much easier if we did that.
But then we'd never find authenticity.
Whenever I read a story where the author fully committed to be real--not pretty, perfect, or exactly what we want, but authentic--I'm left breathless. Authentic pain will not only find but will minister true healing. Authentic joy will encourage us. Authentic tension will keep the reader awake long into the night, unable to put the book down. Authentic friendship will remind us of one of the greatest gifts from God. And to depict those things, we have to be committed. We have to be willing to go to that place that isn't safe and risk everything. We have to trust the One who gave us the story in the first place. And we have to be completely honest.
Finding the restaurant wasn't enough for Jen and I. We had to go. We needed the full experience to satisfy our craving for an Indian adventure. We had to commit. It was the only way we'd find to satisfy that desire--even if it meant driving to the other side of a major city, risking our lives on the roads, and finally, entering a completely different world.
Committment is always worth it. Are you committed to your story?
See y'all Friday for the rest of the story!
8 hours ago