Writerly Wednesdays

Horses, Chariots, and History: The Writer’s Unstoppable Passion

Jonathan Edwards stood before his mid-1700s Colonial American crowd and bellowed, “You are in God’s hand!” His gaze hovered above everyone’s head.

“You are in God’s hand. And His hand hovers over the pits of hell. One tip would send you over the edge and into eternal flames, forever doomed to burn. And your sins are heavy, so beware!”

Americans listened and turned toward God. The movement was so powerful that historians called the revival The Great Awakening.

And yet, as time wore on and their fears of hell subsided, Americans lost their passion. Sin returned, and they fell into their old ways.

Emotion carries you so far and no more.

The conference is over, and the thrill of connecting with other writers has waned. Work and other duties take priority. Our vision, so focused one week ago, has hazed over. The finish line isn’t quite as appealing now that we see the distance and the hills. Our productivity falls short of the goal.

Your feelings are normal. If the stakes ‘eternal punishment in the lake of hell’ aren’t compelling enough for many to maintain dedication to God, everything else will fall short as well.

What, then, can we do?

As writers, we’ve two horses inside us who pull us along. Yes! We’re a chariot! The horse on the right says write! The horse on the left says play! They pull at different speeds, in opposite directions, giving us no end of frustration. The chariot goes off the road.

You are the chariot driver. It’s your job to make sure work and play are trotting along in balance.

Those who participated in The Great Awakening had one strong horse and one weak horse, and the team could not carry the chariot through the progress of time.

Pace yourself. Learn how to control the horses inside of you so that they receive enough attention that neither feels neglected. Nurture both; they will grow healthy and strong enough to pull you through the most challenging times.

Not all views expressed are those of every member of ICW.


  • Peter Leavell

    Peter Leavell, a graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history and a MA in English Literature, was the 2011 winner of the Christian Writers Guild’s Operation First Novel contest and 2013 Christian Retailing’s Best award for First-Time Author, along with multiple other awards. An author, blogger, teacher, ghostwriter, jogger, biker, husband, and father, Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. Learn more about Peter’s books, research, and family adventures at www.peterleavell.com

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