Sunday, September 13, 2009

An Exciting Discovery

Marcia Laycock is a pastor's wife and mother of three grown daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone, and has published two devotional books, Spur of the Moment, and Focused Reflections. Visit her website -

I made an exciting discovery one day. I got so excited about it I called my husband into the office so I could show him. He smiled indulgently but looked like he thought I was overreacting just a bit. I’d been critiquing and editing manuscripts for writers for some time. I would usually do the edits on a hard copy of the manuscript, then transfer them onto the computer and send the finished product to the writer.
The task was laborious since it is important for the writer to see the changes I make and in some cases, understand my reasoning. I used the highlight feature as well as the font color feature on the computer, making the changes as I went, then highlighting and putting comments in red. This required continually clicking buttons and using the mouse.

Then I joined an online critique group. Each person was to submit a story and all the others critique it. As we got started someone asked how to put the changes right into the manuscript. I was about to send a message explaining my method when I read a message from another group member. He explained that all you have to do is hit the Tools button and click on ‘track changes.’ The computer does everything for you! I immediately pulled up an old manuscript and tried it. That’s when I got excited. I knew this little discovery would save me a lot of time and ‘fiddling.’

In my own defense I must explain that I am self-taught on the computer. I have never taken a course, but learned by doing. For the most part that has worked fine, but when I discovered this tracking feature it made me wonder what else I’ve been missing. Maybe it was time I investigated all the features the program designers put into my computer. Maybe it was time I discovered how it’s meant to be used. There were probably a few other things I’d been doing the hard way.

Sometimes we go through life the same way. We are self-made, self-taught and self-focused. Usually, that means we’ve been doing things the hard way. Maybe it’s time we discovered our designer had a different plan. Maybe it’s time we discovered what that plan is. God has provided everything we need to live our lives according to His purposes. The Apostle Paul knew this when he wrote to the Philippians – “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

Did you notice that last phrase? That’s the important part, the part that can mean the difference between living life the hard way, and living life with abundant joy. In Christ Jesus. Why do things the hard way?


David Murdoch said...

God has a plan for each and every one of us, and many of us do not recognize what that plan is, but we must all nonetheless place our trust in God and pray that whatever it is, He may bring us to fulfill.

It may involve great suffering, it may involve learning, it may involve things we never thought we would do... but whatever it is, we must place our trust in Him and follow Him wherever He takes us.

God Bless,

Jessica McInnis said...

Thank you so much for sharing that feature! I had no idea. I was trying to do it the tedious way too, and if it makes you feel better, i got all excited too and immediately showed the feature to a friend, lol

Marcia said...

So glad I'm in good company, Jessica! ;)