The shift. Looking straight ahead. Letting go. Throughout my life I’ve experienced this quantum change in my state of being on both a large and a small scale. It’s the clarification of existence when I finally step out of the way and allow myself be swept away by the Spirit’s current, by nature’s grace, by creativity’s uplift, when the supernatural clicks into place and the wheels come up. I’m flying. It’s those eureka moments, the epiphanies, the awakenings, when I’m in the zone, the sweet spot of the moment, the satori, when reality sloughs off to reveal the Face of God and my reason for existence. And there’s no time I experience this phenomenon more than when I’m writing.
Not long ago I was struggling with an essay, fighting every inch of the way to put words together into sensible order. The essay stared at me, flat, uninspired, languishing in a puddle of literary drool. Then I remembered the Apostle Paul’s words in Colossians 3:17: “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17 NKJV). I prayed, offering my work up to the Father and giving thanks in Jesus’ name for not only my talents and abilities, but also for the opportunities to serve the Kingdom in my gifting. Almost immediately the words started coming together on the screen. I’d shifted into the zone, and in no time I’d crafted a decent opening to the essay. Two days later I finished it.
When I worked on my novel On the Inside, a story about a writer forced to transition into his own book to kill off an unruly character, I experienced the shift many times as I transitioned into my own work to bring my characters to life. When I’ve gone back to read sections of The Epiphany of Joy, I sometimes wonder who actually wrote that book, then I remember what I told God when He gave me the assignment: “Okay, this is Your deal. I’m a conduit for Your Spirit to work through me. I’ll provide the fingers and the brain and the computer, but Your Spirit has to provide the rest.” In other words, I needed wisdom to show up at my gate in a hurry so I could complete my Daddy’s assignment. I needed to experience the shift. And God has never disappointed me.
For over thirty years I traveled through life self-focused. Despite my firm belief in God, I believed in myself more. I embraced the American way of independence and self-sufficiency as I wrestled with God over my purpose, my direction, and my bank accounts. I was fascinated—obsessed—by the power of the subconscious mind and I dutifully indoctrinated myself with cassette tapes filled with secular affirmations and messages reinforcing my self-absorption. I was number one! Then my life unraveled. My first marriage dissolved. My health followed suit. The Kingdom of David C. Hughes built on the sandy foundation of selfishness and self-sufficiency washed away, leaving me gasping in the surf of despair and depression. Then God stepped in by pointing me to chapters 30 and 40 in the Book of Job, a book I’d never read in a faded Bible I’d hardly ever opened. At that moment I experienced a profound shift, away from self-righteousness to the righteousness of God.
Since then I’ve lived that shift daily. I’ve shifted from an attitude of pridefulness to an attitude of God’s sovereignty. I’ve shifted away from faith in myself and toward a more absolute faith in God. I’ve shifted from a wishy-washy relationship with the Second Person of the Trinity to a solid, unquestioning belief in Jesus Christ as not only my Savior but my Lord. And I recognize I’m now on the cusp of another profound shift, a change that will define my life to the end, a final push to an absolute trust. I think Neil T. Anderson said it best in his book Victory Over the Darkness: “We accept what God says is true and live accordingly by faith, and this abundant life works out in our experience. If we try to make it true by the way we live, we will never get there.”
I desire above all else to live each moment of my life with no hesitation about the veracity of God’s word, believing without a doubt that what God says is true, that God is always faithful to His promises. I want to continue to build my foundation on Jesus and stand on God’s Word. I confess I’m not there yet—I still have a tendency to look down at my feet—but I can touch the fringes of the shift—the confidence this hope instills lifts my heart and keeps me pedaling forward, albeit wobbly at times. Like Hannah learning how to ride her bicycle, or like my dance lessons so long ago, I’ve got to lift my eyes off the ground, look straight ahead, and keep moving.
Copyright © 2015 David C Hughes
 Anderson, Neil T. Victory Over the Darkness. Ventura, California: Regal Books, 2013. 83.