The deadline for the Lenten Devotional looms. The editors are EXPECTing my submission. But inspiration just won’t come. That’s the thing about inspiration…you just can’t force it. In fact, the harder I try, the less of it I seem to have.
Still, it doesn’t seem right to just sit here. Waiting. As if a lightning bolt is going to descend and write itself upon my paper in perfect insights, with perfect grammar and legible penmanship. There are plenty of sitters out there. Waiting. I am not good at either.
I need to DO something to hurry the inspiration along! I cut and paste a few verses of my chosen scripture (Song of Songs 2:8-13) onto the computer screen. A few different translations. Why not? I pour over them. Read and re-read. I take notes, look for connections, let my wander to visual imagery. I respond to the verses – in writing! – but to no avail. Everything lies flat upon the page. A day passes. Another. The deadline is mere days away.
And then suddenly a phrase enters my mind: No really, I love you. And I begin…”A man I love side-stepped death.” The scripture sends an image of lattice-work and the loved one calling. An image of the mullions on my very own windows. The lover looks in. I look out. What do I see? What would another see who stood here? Do they hear Him saying, “No really, I love you”?
The experience is powerfully crafting the writing as I wait on the images. Sitting and waiting, here I am after all. But the waiting is expectant. I am the fielder and it is the fly ball. I have heard the crack of the bat. I’ve got a line on it as it soars high in the sky. I try to gauge its descent, tending first right and then a bit left. I see it beginning to drop. I reach out my hand and open my glove wide. It is coming; I am ready to catch it.
Fielding inspiration when it falls is not easy. It takes practice and preparation. One must be ready. But sometimes the ball seems forever in the coming down. Those editors, after all, are waiting.
I type the last and hit submit. Then my friend emails to share that her dearest childhood friend had just succumbed to cancer. It was a long battle, but she still is not sure whether the departed came to know how much God loved her during her lifetime. Surely a God of mercy understands.
This is when I realize that the piece I had written was intended for a different deadline. It was meant to comfort a grieving friend and landed right on time.
My job is simply to settle under the fly ball of grace and catch inspiration as it comes down. Then, to prepare for the next. Kind of ridiculous to think I could force the ball to fall faster into my glove.
Pardon me, dear friends of the Kinesthetic Christian. I have been traveling with my family and then came home to a whirlwind of preparation for a call scheduled with a book publisher. He is interested.
I fear I must shift my time a bit from the regular KC posting. This is hard because I love it here, among the sound bytes and digital images. But the decision is made. I will dive into this one very big project and, potentially, the 2 month sprint ahead to give my book a chance to succeed and my business, Fit2Finish, a huge boost.
Then I see this in the Parade Magazine this morning. Marilyn vos Savant has published the question I sent in eons ago. My question, why are mazes easier if you start at the finish? Her answer: because you have broken the one rule of mazes, start at start.
Life can only be lived in one direction. We don’t get the answers first. We get the questions, then we work our way to the answers. Just like books. If you read the last page first, you ruin it. Just like book projects, you have to start at the beginning and fill in the chapters.
But then the real work begins: convincing people to come along for the ride. My project? Making people Fit to Finish before the final whistle blows. We must all start at start. Starting at the finish is breaking the only rule.
I’m guilty of trying to make it easier by starting at the finish and working backwards. It’s easier that way! Marilyn vos Savant says that’s cheating.
God occupies that spot. God is finishing each of us by drawing us toward Himself. All He requires? Full effort. I’m willing; He’s able. Here goes!!