I don’t have an agent. For those of you who aren’t writers, that might not seem strange. But in today’s world, most published authors do. And now that I’ve turned in my second manuscript, the last in my current contract, I’ve found myself battling agent envy. Not that my editor isn’t going to look at new ideas. Or my husband, who reads my contracts, won’t look out for my interests. But it isn’t the same as when I hear of my friends using their agent as a sounding board for ideas or getting advice on mapping out a career plan.
So I whined to the Lord the other day. As I did, the words sounded vaguely familiar in my ears.
“An agent could help me get things I might not get on my own.”
“An agent could protect me if things go wrong.”
The longsuffering Lord whispered patiently to my heart. I’m your agent. I got you the first contract. Can’t you trust me with the rest?
I argued back, knowing His words to be truth, but my flesh wanting something more. “But everyone else has one!”
Suddenly I knew where I’d heard the words before. I Samuel 8:5. The Israelites came to Samuel and said, “now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”
Israel dealt with king envy the same way I’ve been dealing with agent envy. All the other nations could see their king. They wanted one, too. God gave them what they wanted, but His response always makes me sad when I read it: “And the Lord told him [Samuel]: ‘Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me as their King.’” How could they do such a thing after all God had done for them?
Ouch. I was rejecting God as my agent when He’d clearly orchestrated things to put Himself in that place. Now don’t get me wrong. Having an agent isn’t bad. But what if you start thinking another person’s agent is better than the one the Lord gave to you? What then? The point is that for me, He chose fill this role in my life by Himself, without the intermediary of an agent. And I rushed headlong into the same trap as Israel—looking around and envying what others have rather than trusting God in the path He set for me.
Unlike Israel, I saw my sin and repented. That doesn’t mean I don’t still battle an occasional bout of agent envy, but now I recognize that thought before it takes root and I run to the One who holds it all in His hands. If someday He chooses to give me an agent, great. If not, I will trust Him to guide my writing path even if I can’t shoot Him an email or pick up the phone and call.
Is there someone in your life right now that you are trying to put into the role that God means to have for Himself?