Saturday, June 6, 2009

Writer's Block

I've had "writer's block" lately. Well obviously; I haven't written anything in a month. It seems to come in waves. I have a month of seeming intense inspiration and realization and then a month (or more) of what would seem to be no thought at all.

Ok, slight exageration.

I have thoughts. A lot actually. Lately, they just seem short and obscure, or sometimes so simple that to admit that I have only now just come to understand them would be embarrassing. And yet, not getting them "out"or processing them outside of my own head drives me crazy. So instead of writing, I have been talking to almost anyone who will listen to everything that I am thinking about. And I am exhausted.

And this week I realized why.

For starters, the most obvious reason for my exhaustion and resulting "writer's block" is that I have simply over-talked, over-thought, and over-analyzed every situation, circumstance, conversation, glance, and all other forms of verbal or physical communication. And I'm really good at it. I can break down just about anything. I disect nearly everything, trying to find the root, the purpose, the metaphor, the allusion, the meaning, the spiritual context of any encounter with a friend or a stragner, a thought that popped up out of nowhere, or emotional reaction that is uncharacteristic.

To be in a constant state of analysis and observation, from the inside out is neither productive, beneficial, or I dare say healthy. I don't think I am a mental case, though some may argue, but I do think that I need to learn to let go, relax, and just "roll with it." Why that is so against my natural state is beyond me because my parents and my brother are all this way. They are all strangers to worry, stress, or over exageration of thought, so it seems not to be genetic... it's just me. Thus, I am often a source of comic relief to them. We all have our roles I guess.

This week brought some much needed enlightenment though. During my quiet time one morning, I read out of Streams in the Desert, a personal favorite.

I implore you not to give into despair. I tis a dangerous temptation,
because our Advesary has refined it to the point that it is quite subtle.
Hopelessness constricts and withers the heart, rendering it unable to sense
God's blessings and grace. It also causes you to exagerate the adversitites of
life and make your burdens seem to heavy for you to bear.
Yet God's plans for
you, and His ways of bringing about His plans, are infinitely

The italized part is what hit home for me. The more I talked about life in general, everydays happenings, questions, etc. the bigger they became, the more insurmountable they appeared to be, and the more out of control my life felt. And, to a certain degree, I did begin to despair. Because in my mind I felt like a failure. I couldn't answer every question. I expecially could not answer every question with a really deep and spiritually proufound Christian answer. I simply shrugged my shoulders. Then, suprisingly, my despair turned into a desperation for direction, truth, and wisdom that would pull me out of this apparent slump, this foreign land of "Uhh, I don't know."

"When will I have it all figured out? How much longer until I know everything so that I won't have to worry about not knowing anyting?"

To be desperate for the Lord is good, yes. But my desperation wasn't one of healthy hunger. It was a desperate plea for salvation and deliverance from what I have now discovered is simply the faith journey. And what I couldn't see then was and is the beauty of the mystery of a really really big God. The instrinsic and almost romantic way that the Lord keeps things hidden, covered, and tanalizing so that we continue after Him, yearn for Him, and wait on Him to do what He does best: be God. Be sovereign, be perfect, and most importantly be endlessly overflowing with grace and patience.

I called my dad in the midst of my inner turmoil. To know my dad is to know more about the Lord; to hear wisdom and to see sanctification. I always call him on matters of the spirit. His response didn't take effect until a few days later when I sat still long enough to ponder it as opposed to continuing the spiritual running/striving that had been wearing me out. He, in a simple yet eloquent way, reminded me that God is infinitely patient and infinitely merciful. There is nothing that we can do to earn His love or be granted His forgiveness. It just is. It is lavished upon us and to not accept it ( the way I discovered I wasn't) opens wide the door for the enemy and his firey arrows. To essentially say "Hey God, thanks for the offer, but it's just too easy, I'm gonna go ahead and decline and then try to make up for it on my own," is well... real stupid.

Needless to say, I am paying more attention to resting; sitting still and letting Him do what He wants. Because here's the thing: He only wants what is best for us and what is best for us is what will bring glory and honor to Him. It is all about Him, always. What we do, who we are, where we go is always and only about and for the praise and worship of Christ. That is what is best for us because it is for that very thing for which we were created.

What I am finding is it will be a natural outflow of myself, my mind, my spirit, my thoughts, my desires, and my heart if I will simply stop trying to make it happen. In my attempt to produce in my own strenght, I actually negate it. Ooops.

So hands off, Mere. The course has already been set. Open wide your eyes, let go of the reigns and enjoy the ride.

1 comment:

Juli Jarvis said...

I hear you! This is something God has been teaching me the last few years -- that it's ALL about Him, not about me. It's not even about what I do right or wrong -- it's ALL about Him! It's so freeing to discover that when we trust Him (instead of self) He begins to do the things that only He can do. I'm not so good about walking this way either, but He keeps bringing me back to this type of walk.

I'm reading an excellent book right now that you might want to read -- I think you'll have to find it online, because it's never in bookstores any more. It's Eugene H. Peterson's "Traveling Light" (not Max Lucado's book of the same name). It's about letting go of all the weights such as the ones you just mentioned -- and "traveling light" in that freedom -- letting it be ALL about Jesus. Really outstanding!