Friday, October 15, 2010

Lack of Focus Leads to . . .


It's been well over a week since I wrote in this blog last.  It's not for lack of ideas.  I have LOTS of ideas.  It's not for lack of time, although if you asked me, I would say I'm busy.  And although I've sat down to write and been interrupted by multiple things in the last week-and-a-half since I last wrote, the truth is I could have time if I made myself have time.  Unfortunately, this failure to write has spread to failure to work on my thesis, something that needs to happen so I can finish school in the spring.

The problem is more complex, and I'm kind of hoping I'll figure out a solution if I sit here and write.  That happens sometimes.

You see, this blog isn't just an outlet for my ideas.  It's a form of obedience.  Years and years ago, I decided I wanted to be a writer.  I'm not sure if I decided, or I heard God telling me I needed to write.  I'm pretty sure it's the latter, but I'm hesitant to make that claim because it seems to also claim that what I write is profound and, well, important.

Nevertheless, it does seem that God uses me when I use words.

The problem is I tend to lack confidence and self-discipline.  As in, I often think anyone could say what I saw and why do I need to join the many unemployed, unpublished writers in the world?  That leads to lack of self-discipline.  If what I write is mediocre, why submit myself to the painful process of writing?

And so I read my Bible and think of what I hope are fabulous things to say, but I know I can't say them all, and so I think, "I need to choose one or two things to write."  But I don't choose.  And when I don't choose something, I am in essence choosing nothing.

Similarly, the task of a thesis is so daunting, and I think to myself, I don't have two hours to sit and really get going on this thing so I don't even put in 30 minutes.

Life is good.
I'm content.  
I love my husband and my children.
I love my friends and feel loved by them.
I'm making new friendships and renewing old friendships.

I'm not motivated.

And that would be fine except that I still hear the nagging voice in my head:  Write!
And I get the feeling that when I don't actually write, I'm disobeying the one who made me, who created me to love words and think of ways to communicate biblical truths.

We can define disobedience in a few ways.
First, disobedience can look like doing something we are told not to do.
It can also be failing to do something we have been told to do.

And that's where I am.

Failure to write gets in the way of reading the Bible.  I am stuck on about three passages right now.  I have things to say, and I'm not saying them.  I don't feel freedom to move on, and I don't want to read the things I've already read.  Because then I'm reminded I need to write.  

Failure to write also gets in the way of doing other things I need to do.  I put them doing those things because I know I need to write, but then I don't write and so I'm not getting anything done.

Sometimes we just do things because we know we need to do things.
There's value in self-discipline, in training ourselves to do things that we don't feel like doing at the moment.

Like exercise.  Or turning down a piece of cheesecake.
Or reading the Bible daily and memorizing Scripture.
Or writing on a daily basis.

I'm in training.
We all are.

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