From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes brief accounts, written by our authors, about how self-publishing their books has affected their lives. The following are the words of Rob Wingerter, author “Regaining Your Spiritual Poise.”
In the normal flow of events, ideas are reduced to print and then action on the concepts embedded in the story occurs, resulting in a tangible byproduct. Ideas have consequences. In the case of my new book, Regaining Your Spiritual Poise, this formula was turned on its head.
As told in the final chapter of my book, through a series of events that demonstrate God’s hand at work, my wife and I became the owners of a large home on a lake, without a concrete vision of what to do with it. We had a strong feeling that the house we named Mahseh (anglicized Hebrew word for “refuge”) was to be used for furthering God’s kingdom, but exactly how was to be a discovery process, unfolding over the next couple of years.
An integral part of this process was to start putting down on paper options and the pros and cons of each. We had always viewed Lake Bruce to be one of God’s “thin places,” where the gap between heaven and earth was just a little thinner than normal. The idea of opening a retreat center surfaced as a natural use for the home and its location. What exactly was entailed by the phrase “retreat center” and what activities were to be conducted was still somewhat of an unknown.
The more I began to study the history and purpose of the practice of spiritual retreat and Christian spirituality, the more my eyes were opened to this rich tradition—one that appeared to be virtually ignored by the Protestant community at large. As I studied and thought on the subject, I began to write what I thought was going to be a “position paper” for the use of Mahseh. However, every time I thought I had reached a conclusion, the Lord moved me to explore another facet of this potential ministry.
By the time I had finished my first draft, the Lord had removed all concern and confusion. The direction was clear. Something about putting things down on paper had made the mission of Mahseh self-evident. It had also changed me. It had confirmed to me that God had a plan for both Mahseh and for me to spread the message of retreat to a Christian community that had allowed the hectic pace of modern culture to squeeze out any semblance of a concentrated time alone with our Creator.
In the end, a place resulted in a book that resulted in an idea and a mission. Ideas do have consequences.
You can contact Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org and can view Mahseh and learn of the ministry at Mahseh.org
WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-500 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com. We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.
The hand of God was evident in your final decision, as you too found. We often try to impose our own interpretations upon God’s Word, but more often than not, when we listen with open hearts, the conclusion becomes perfectly clear.
I love your description of “thin places”. I never thought of it that way but those retreats certainly narrow the separation of God’s influence in our lives and allow us to remove the clutter of this world.
Thank you for sharing and may Mahseh become the community center God has planned for you.