It all started in a single wide trailer located on a new construction luxury home lot. Anticipating a random chance that someone might visit or even want to purchase this overpriced spec home, I drove 45 minutes three times a week for such an opportunity. I was a realtor then and presently continue working as one, but at that point in my life, I was more than just a real estate agent. I was a hungry real estate agent. Like a patient fisherman, I was a real estate agent willing to sit. The fishing toolkit was complete with the homes as my bait, my smile as my pole, and charisma as my hook. All hungry realtors wait, smile, and endure the game of time with the hope to sell. Three times a week for 480 minutes at a time, I would cast my line and wait. I would go out and check my bait from time to time to see why it wasn’t working, but most of the time I kept myself locked up in my 500-foot prison.
Eight hours in a single wide without a computer, radio, television, or entertainment of any kind can drive anyone a little insane. So I did what any other bored or fired up Christian locked in a trailer would do: pace and pray. I paced so much in that single wide, I was confident that the already thin carpet was wearing out. One day as I was pacing and praying, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. Something came clear to me at that moment. Perhaps I was here for a different reason besides getting rich from selling over priced homes. God spoke to me as if I was His waiter when He placed an order. He said, “I want you to write a book.” I stopped pacing, “Um, excuse me?” “Yeah, write a book.” Scratching my head in a sarcastic tone I said, “You do remember that I can’t spell, right?” “That’s okay. That’s why I invented spell check.” He was serious. “Alright, what should I write?” “Sit down and I’ll tell you.”
I sat down behind an old wooden desk and pulled out a spiral notebook which I carried everywhere. I started to write with my usual blue Bic pen. Well, I held my pen over the paper as the Holy Spirit wrote through me. Really, I am not that smart. I have never taken any creative writing classes or studied the art of writing a novel. English was an awful subject for me. Actually, English followed by math were the two subjects I hated most in school. I failed the SAT exam because of this. Who has a standardized test on two subjects anyway? To top things off, base your whole future on how well you can add fractions and whether you know where to put a comma? Give me a break, this is not real life! Stepping off soap box… Writing a novel wasn’t anything I ever thought of doing. Ever. One day in the moment of communication with my heavenly Father, He spoke a direct objective into me and I obeyed. Why did I obey? Good question. Maybe it was boredom and I had nothing else to do. Maybe I had put myself in a position (by the way, on accident) away from all distractions, allowing myself to give God enough time to peel away all of my agendas and worthless worldly goals. Let me be real. I was there to make money, or at least the possibility of making money. If I would have sold just one of those homes, a net profit of 7-12K was totally possible. Even if my original intention was not with pure motives, God took a time of complete isolation and transformed it into a life changing experience. I was privileged to have a front row seat to a story which I believe came from the heart of God.
I stayed in that trailer for 6 months. At the end of that period I had accomplished a 50,000 word paragraph with more spelling errors than the mad lib of a third grader. Over the next year and a half, I wrote periodically, transposing my hand-written works to a computer. Casually writing whenever the mood hit, there was a period that I didn’t touch the story for months. I was ready for God to move me onto the next thing. I remember praying and praying one night for hours and God would not speak to me. Out of frustration I stopped and said, “What’s your problem? Why aren’t you talking to me?” The Lord finally broke His silence, speaking only three words, “Finish the book.” “What? Finish the book? Who cares, it’s just a story.” The Lord spoke again, “Finish the book.” “Whatever.”I began to pray again that night and I recall the emptiness I felt from ignoring the voice of the Lord. The next time I spoke to Him, I came humbly.
“Lord I am sorry, but I am ready for new direction in my life. I feel lost Lord. What do you want me to do?” His voice was direct and immediate, “Finish the book.” I took a deep breath, falling face first onto the bed in the spare bedroom among the decorative pillows. “Okay, you win. I’ll finish the book, but you have to answer me this question?” “Go ahead,” God said. “Why? Why do I have to finish the book?” God replied, “I can’t move you onto the next thing until you complete the first task I asked you to complete. Everything I do fits perfectly. You don’t always need to know exactly what my plans are. You just need to know that I can’t move you onto the next thing until you finish the book.” I shook my head in grievance. That was a decent answer, but I needed more. I wasn’t completely satisfied with that motivation and God knew it.
The Lord spoke again and this time my body trembled with goose bumps.
“I can’t make you great until you finish the book. I want to make you great, because making you great will bring glory to me. Just as Abraham’s obedience brought his name greatness, I also want to give you this blessing. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:2)
Tears rolled down my cheeks as God’s words resonated in my mind. “Okay, you got me. I’ll finish it.” I know what some of you are thinking. God said he wants to make your name great? Yeah right. I believe just as God spoke to Abraham, He wants to make all of his obedient children great, because he knows that He will ultimately be glorified. Now my definition of greatness could be different than His. I have to be obedient and let Him do the rest. Whether 10 or 10 million copies of “The Book of Lester” are sold, it is all God’s. I believe that the God I serve is big, and with a big God comes big dreams and a big reality. There are too many people on their way to an eternity of darkness for people to be worried about who God is promoting to greatness or not. Just obey and let God use your life to save somebody.
I would guess that there are close to 4 billion people who have not made Jesus Lord of their life. God desires with all of his heart to make his obedient children into a great nation. He passionately desires that no one would perish, but all would spend everlasting life hanging out with Him. And back to the story… For the next 7 months I dedicated my life to that book. Working on it 8 to 9 hours a day, I finally finished God’s masterpiece. I reached the pinnacle of the mountain and I was ready to plant my flag of greatness with the 105,000-word paragraph I wrote, separated by 67 chapters. YIKES! Every English major just slapped themselves. After having my wife read the first few chapters she kindly pointed out that I didn’t know any grammar or sentence structure, I realized that I needed professional help.
After much prayer, the Holy Spirit led me to an editor that was willing to be my personal writing coach and walk with me slowly through the steps of writing a novel. Something was happening to me during this long period of re-writing and learning. I found out I was passionate about writing. I discovered God had planted the desire to write in me, while I was in my mother’s womb. Now it’s not as though I never enjoyed writing. I have been writing from a very young age. I typically wrote poems, songs and short whatever-you-would-like-to-call-them, sonnets, maybe. I would even take children’s stories and reorder the words and illustrations to make a more humorous story. Sorry for ruining your books Grams…
I discovered that God put so many different talents and abilities inside all of us that we don’t even know about. The only way to discover them is to spend time with Him, listen when He speaks, and most importantly, obey.
My life experiences are sprinkled throughout the book. You write what you know, right? I believe the intention behind this book is for Christians to give to their unsaved friends and say, “Hey, here’s a book I want you to read. It’s a post-modern spiritual suspense, wrapped in a dark comedy romance.” Okay maybe it would be better to say, “It’s funny, intense and talks about some good stuff. Just read it and let me know what you think.”
If God can use a peanut-brained donkey, I believe He can use a book written by someone that hates grammar, failed the SAT exam, and probably smoked too much pot in his life to remember where he put his wallet. God wants to use everyone, anything, and every situation for His glory. We just have to recognize what He is saying, and do it.