Friday, September 9, 2011

Victoriously Persistent

Today's guest post is from Jan Cline. Jan is a freelance writer, aspiring author and speaker from Spokane. She is director of the Inland Northwest Christian Writers Conference held in March each year. She writes Inspirational Historical Romance and non-fiction. Visit her website at The conference website is

My husband and I stayed in Lewiston, Idaho, recently. We drove down the Snake River along the Washington side, heading toward Hell’s Canyon. The farther we traveled, the more interesting the terrain. I couldn’t help but notice the tenaciousness of the river--carving its way through the canyon with determination. There is something about nature that teaches us truths for our lives, our dreams and ambitions, don’t you think?

I was reminded of a quote by Oswald Chambers:

“A river is victoriously persistent, it overcomes all barriers. For a while it goes steadily on its course, then it comes to an obstacle and for a while it is baulked, but it soon makes a pathway round the obstacle. Or a river will drop out of sight for miles, and presently emerge again broader and grander than ever. Never get your eyes on the obstacle or on the difficulty. The obstacle is a matter of indifference to the river . . . .”

Isn’t this true of our writing journey? Our imagination births an idea and we write it. But the path we take after that is sometimes daunting. We flow along, winding down the canyon until we meet an obstacle. It may be a manuscript rejection or a harsh critique, or a disappointing reaction from a loved who read our latest masterpiece. That boulder of discouragement looks like it will block our path-—dam up the whole process.

Then we find a way around the obstruction by learning from the rejections, critiques and emotions. We keep going, making our way to the ocean of our dreams. Our mission is to become like the river—-undaunted by the obstacle. The twists and turns we make are part of the path we are meant to follow, even when we don’t know which direction we’ll go next.

I never could have imagined that I would detour my writing journey to become founder and director of a writers conference. It was a bend in the river that took me by surprise. But I knew it was my chance to facilitate other writers to fulfill their dreams. My personal journey has profited in the process as well.

I hope you’ll imagine yourself to be a river of words and imagination. Don’t let the obstacles become barriers. Just go around them and stay on the journey. The ocean is waiting to be fed.



Rebecca Stuhlmiller said...

Very nice, Jan. We all face obstacles in our lives but we "keep going, making our way to the ocean of our dreams." Thanks for the encouragement.

Jan Cline said...

Thanks Rebecca. It's a big ocean - room enough for more dreams than we can imagine. Have a great day!

Jennifer Rova said...

What a nice analogy. I am going to print your blog and keep it in sight. It makes feel good when I read it; it calms me; it gives me encouragement. Thanks for the inspiration.

Jan Cline said...

You're welcome Jennifer. There's nothing like flowing water to calm us. Glad you liked the analogy.

Nancy Owens Barnes said...

Thanks Jan for this inspiring post. As writers, relentless persistence drives us toward achieving our dreams and goals. The river is a wonderful image to motivate us to keep on keepin' on.

Jan Cline said...

Thank you Nancy for having me. :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Great advice, Jan!