Last evening my publisher sponsored a book-signing for my newest book. It was held at Davis Kidd Booksellers here in Nashville. It’s a brand new store located in one of the premier malls here in the city. On the lower level, they’ve built a beautiful area for writers to come and speak and sign their books.
After so many years of having book-signings all over the place and doing interviews, you’d think I’d get used to them. But this night was special. This past year I have gone through a lot of controversy. A lot of public attention has been directed my way, none of which I’ve wanted nor could have ever anticipated.
I started out many years ago wanting to be a peacemaker, a proclaimer of good news, a healer, someone who brought people together. And yet it’s always been my calling for some strange reason to be a renegade, particularly when it comes to standing up against organized religion. That’s why this latest book, “A Renegade’s Guide to God,” has meant so much to me. It’s incredibly gratifying to know how well it’s being received across the country. Emails and responses have been overwhelming. I’ve realized that there is a little renegade in all of us that too often we put aside because we don’t want to face controversy, disagreement, and conflict.
That having been said, I was anxious to see if anyone would show up especially after reading newspaper articles and TV interviews. Having received requests during the day for TV stations and news outlets to come and cover the event and denying them all, I really wondered if there would actually be anyone there. But to my surprise, when I walked in the bottom level of the store was almost filled with happy, smiling people ready to hear me speak and to get their own copy of “Renegade.”
What an awesome night! What a great gift it was to me from God; a reminder that God is in control of my life and that there are people who love me and support me and stand with me.
What did I learn last night at my book-signing? That if you dedicate your life to serving God and serving people, bringing good news, particularly in my line of work, standing against rule-based religion, people who are into control and manipulation, people who want to exclude, people who want power; if you stand against those to help set people free, to introduce them to a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ; if you preach about it, write about it, share it, live it, love it, no matter who comes against you, ultimately God will get the victory because these are the things He cares about.
So if you’re facing opposition and conflict because you stand for things that bring out the worst in mean, mad, or messed-up people, continue to stand. God will stand with you. And you’ll be surprised. He’ll come alongside. There’s a little bit of renegade in all of us. Not rebel, but renegade. A renegade is someone who wants to live free, have fun, and change the world.
When you get up everyday, repeat that mantra, “Live free, have fun, change the world,” and you just might do it.