It was late spring, 2008, and I was on a mission to find one thing. I got out of the van and walked through the unusually hot day, across the parking lot, and into the air conditioning. I stopped and took a deep breath. Then I looked around.
I started at the front, checked the new release table. Nothing. Then I walked back, past the beloved fiction section, beyond the self-help. I turned left off the main aisle and slowed down, my eyes sweeping the shelves. Thousands of books. Thousands of authors. Then I saw the business section. Of course. I should have gone there first.
That’s when I saw it.
Or perhaps I should say, I saw “them.” A pile of about fifteen books in the middle of a table, surrounded by similar stacks. A small sign said “New Release – Business.” I looked closer and there it was, my name on one of the books: “with Shawn Smucker.”
I was standing inside the largest Borders Books in the area, staring at my first book.
So why did I feel so underwhelmed?
* * * * *
I was thinking about this moment the other day as 2013 came to an end. I realized that if the payoff for this life I am living was simply seeing books with my name on them, it wouldn’t be enough. Not for me. It had to be about something else.
It had to be about the writing. It had to be about the audience – you folks. It had to be about a conversation, a sort of relationship. It had to be about stories.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, make sure your New Year’s resolutions are for something that will truly give you meaning. Make sure you’re targets are set on something that will give you more than what I got when I saw that book with my name on it in the middle of a sea of books.
What if you lose the weight? What if you find the right person? What if you read 1000 books? What if you stop smoking or start exercising or read your Bible everyday?
What are you really looking for?