This morning I made the decision to refrain from writing for an entire day. I failed. Lately, I have really enjoyed failing in some areas. That sounds like a strange perspective, but every time I fail at something I turn to God and talk to Him about it. It’s like I am in grade-school trying to be interested in what the teacher is talking about while my best friend is sitting behind me and pleading for my attention. In this scenario I am the student, my desire to write is the teacher, and God is the kid behind me who has something exciting to say. I chose to take a break from writing so I could focus on other life giving activities. I was attempting to discipline myself so that writing wouldn’t become an obsession, but would rather remain a source of self expression. My attempt at restraint, to better myself, had the opposite affect. Instead of being encouraged by the endless horizon of possibilities that came from killing my desire to write, I actually ached to write even more than normal. At first, the pressing to write gnawed at my pride. I was going to make it through the day! If I could just get past the first eight hours of my day, and find a decent distraction this evening, I would wake up encouraged by my ability to control myself.
Self preservation and pride protect one another, suffocating the possibility of positive thinking.
Going back to the cute grade-school story:
As a grade-school kid it wouldn’t have killed me to turn around and acknowledge my friend. I realize that some people reading this may disagree with me, but the truth is if I really was that kid and I hadn’t turned around to hear what my friend was trying to tell me, I wouldn’t have heard what the teacher was trying to tell me either. DOUBLE WHAMMY. I may have been scolded. I may have been asked to leave the room. I may have been sent to the principles office. Sure, I could have waited until after class, but for me the desire to hear my friend would have far outweighed my desire to hear the teacher. If I heard my friend there was than potential to hear my teacher.
I realize that decision making isn’t always that simple, and in some cases, it wouldn’t quite work out that way. But for me, this morning, it was what I needed to do. I needed to turn around and hear my friend. Self-discipline looks differently for different people. Especially since my friend sitting behind me was God. Turns out He had some cool things to say:
- Every good and perfect gift is from above.
- Think on what is lovely, pure and honorable. Do what you love.
- Words have power to speak life and death. Write.
After He spoke those truths to me, here is what I wrote:
The door of death is an open grave,
Darkness overtakes the sleeping
They walk and stumble into flesh
And flesh grieves the souls of the living.
And what will they do?
But to gaze upward is the only way of life
And yet the living cast lots to the corpse.
Fear swaddles their innocence
And they forget that life is simply the turning away,
For from the grave one speaks and is saved.
If writing is how I enjoy an average day, then I should write. Truth is, if another activity draws me in, I always have the ability to choose one thing over another. It’s times like these that I am blessed to remind myself of REST.
Release. Every. Single. Thing.
I think at times people, myself included, get wrapped up in the potential to better our inner or outer person, so much so, that we forget the inexpressible beauty of individuality and the gifts that travel along side it.
I am a writer so I am going to write. Plain and simple. Now that I’ve made that decision I trust that when another opportunity rises I will be able to indulge in the fullness of that thing as well.
Participate in the things that give you life.
Be who you are, because The God who created every living thing isn’t asking you to be anyone else.
With love and sincerity,
-The Talking S u n f l o w e r