For quite “awhile” now (that’s procrastinator speak for it’s been a looonng time) I have had a nagging urge to do something SCARY! To write! I have made a few attempts. But this urge is relentless! It won’t leave me alone. It keeps popping up with ideas, prodding me toward making a goal of really working at it – like I might have something important to share with the world. And may I say, I have fought it back with vigor, valiantly warding off the impulse. I have a pretty awesome arsenal of tools in my Procrastinator Pen: (oops! unintended pun!) Ignore, Do Email, Check out Facebook, Eat, and if all else fails there is always Exercise! And then there’s Logic, the easy-to-pick, low-hanging fruit of reasons why writing could not possibly be from God. “Who am I? Everybody writes better than me. I don’t even want to write.“ And my favorite? “It’s not my gift!” There’s more, but these usually do the trick.
But like a mosquito buzzing around my ears that won’t let me alone, this pesky compulsion keeps coming back! And do you know what bugs me (oops another pun!) the most? It’s just hard WORK! For me it’s excruciatingly unpleasant. Like what I imagine having my fingernails ripped out would feel like. So here I sit, in my own personal jail cell. Looking out through the bars, I mean slats, of the blinds on my window coaxing the spaghetti in my brain to form into meaningful words. It’s going to be quite an ordeal.
Awhile ago I stuck these words of Oswald Chambers’ in the back of my Bible. They haunt me….
If you cannot express yourself on any subject, struggle until you can. If you do not, someone will be the poorer all the days of his life. Struggle to re-express some truth of God to yourself, and God will use that expression to someone else. Go through the winepress of God where the grapes are crushed. You must struggle to get expression experimentally, then there will come a time when that expression will become the very wine of strengthening to someone else; but if you say lazily – “I am not going to struggle to express this thing for myself, I will borrow what I say,” the expression will not only be of no use to you, but of no use to anyone. Try to restate to yourself what you implicitly feel to be God’s truth, and you give God a chance to pass it on to someone else through you.
Always make a practice of provoking your own mind to think out what it accepts easily. Our position is not ours until we make it ours by suffering. The author who benefits you is not the one who tells you something you did not know before, but the one who gives expression to the truth that has been struggling for utterance in you.
Oswald Chambers lived from 1874-1917 and was relatively unknown during his rather short life, but his life was a demonstration of what he believed and he worked to express those beliefs in words that continue to impact lives for eternity.
I’m moved by his words…but… SUFFERING…really? OK, Lord! “Uncle!” Obviously my expectations need an adjustment. I do value what you have built into me. So if I have to labor like a coal miner with a pickaxe hunting for riches, hacking away at the layers of truths and half-formed thoughts in my soul until coherent, meaningful expressions of your truth emerge from me, then I will pick up that pen and beat that spaghetti brain of mine into submission! May you transform what feels like a place of torment into a studio, a place of creativity where beauty is created. Like you turned water into wine, take what feels like a zillion “sticky notes” littering my brain and fashion it into words that carry your truth.