This week I’m coming to you live from inside the cave. I know the time has come to venture out and test the waters. But I have to confess, I quite like it in here. Alas, comfort zones were made to be disturbed, so I am emerging one toe at a time.
What led to the retreat this time? Once again, I have neglected to respect my mortality and brokenness. Which, funnily enough, only leads to shortening the first and increasing the second. I have a nasty habit of tackling the tasks, juggling the deadlines, and pursuing multiple possibilities. All these things are good. But not when they come at the expense of everything else.
And not when you struggle accepting, sometimes, good enough is good enough.
I have been asked:
- What’s the point of slaving away with words when it doesn’t pay?
- Why commit to writing if it causes so much stress?
- You do know no one really cares one way or the other?
All good questions. I often grill myself over the same fire. What? Why? … Why?
The only answer I can come back with is, I enjoy it. And no, I am not a masochist. I don’t enjoy the angst, anguish and anxiety. But the challenge, battle, and results are gold … well, to me.
But, once again, in my race to slay my to-do list, I managed to kill off something else as well.
As is my MO, I embraced a shroud separating myself from others and haemorrhaged into the tasks. My family suffered, friendships paused, sleep became a distant memory, and my hobbies became a burden. And at the end of the day–or, right from the outset–my writing became dry at best, hypocritical at worst.
I still prayed, read my bible and went through the motions of hanging out with God. But I don’t think He was fooled. It was during this latest retreat into the cave God challenged me to face the facts. Among other things, I’d lost my joy.
This was a bit scary because writing is my passion and joy my reward. But I realised without joy, I was left merely “en-ing”; a spent husk, uncreative, laugh-less, life-less, not experiencing … merely existing.
And who wants to go through life settling for en-ing, when we were:
- Created to en-joy the fullness of life,
- Built to en-rich relationships and
- Designed to en-tangle ourselves with life?
But God is good, gracious, and gentle … for a while. So, after my confessions and before the kick up the proverbial, I am “mothering” up and fighting my way back.
It’s a new year and time to set some … possibilities. As focused as I can be, I am enough of a realist to know that life has a tendency to do the skrattwosie-two-step through our resolutions and expectations. I tend to be more of a “head north via the B roads” kind of gal. So, I have marked the map with some likely destinations for this year.
Late last year, just prior to my latest fall from the balanced-life-wagon, my goals were,
healthy spirit, healthy body, healthy mind.
I like this, so I’ve decided to go with it as an overarching life goal again for this year. But as far as my writing goes, I aim to sit down with God and,
- Confirm the destination – where exactly are we going?
- Reassess priorities – what exactly is important?
- Discern quality – how exactly is value being added?
- Confront Reality – what actually is possible?
- Embrace wisdom – how much actually is necessary?
To be honest, this is going to take a while and I want to give it time to get it right. I don’t know what the outcome will be. But as God is faithful as well as gracious, good, and generous (and all the other qualities too numerous to mention here and now) I know He will take the time to tell me if I take the time to listen. So, I will begin by:
Isn’t this just another to-do list to slave over?
Aren’t I just window-dressing my old habits in a current fashion trends?
But I can honestly say, as God is my witness, my intent it genuine.
As I said, I have no idea what this will look like. That’s the great thing about travelling the B roads, you never know what you’re going to get. But, at the heart of it, my desire is to be real:
- With God,
- For living,
- In writing.
I’ll let you know how I go.
- Before setting new year possibilities, have you made last year’s confessions?
- How do you cope with falling off whatever wagon you’re desperately clinging to?
- What/whom are you anchoring the adventure of 2021 to?