Monthly Archives: May 2011
I’m an imposter. A fake. A phony. A phony fake. I call myself a writer, but I’m really not (which, come to think of it, makes me a liar, too).
This thought comforts me when I can’t think of a blasted thing to write. It means I haven’t failed. It alleviates the pressure to perform, which begs the question, where is the pressure coming from? I don’t have deadlines. There’s no one pacing impatiently outside my door, waiting for me to finish my latest tome. No one’s livelihood is dependent upon whether I write today or not.
So, where the devil is all this pressure coming from? Why do I feel so antsy? And so guilty?
Truth is, or at least part of it is, I don’t want to give up again. I have a tendency to stop running when my side gets that sharp stitch in it, or when the track starts up hill, or when the rain comes, or it gets windy or cold. I quit. I run out of gas. I run out of stamina, endurance, faith.
Is that’s what’s happening here? Am I losing faith in myself? Or just in the imaginary idea that writing is what I’m supposed to be doing? Writing has certainly given me a purpose…sort of. It’s given me something to work toward; get better at, and maybe that’s the lesson here. Maybe this whole writing dream isn’t supposed to end where I think it should. Maybe I’ll never be published, and maybe it doesn’t matter.
I’ve been told that people need to set goals if they are ever going to be “successful,” a relative term, in my opinion. Up to now, I haven’t set any…no, not one, at least not on purpose. I may have set a few (and accomplished a few) purely by accident. So, why is it so important to set one now? Well, I suppose it’s because even Paul had a finish line he kept his eye on.
I know we all have a finish line. I just don’t know what or where mine is. It’s too far away to see anything but fuzz and fog. Perhaps the secret in goal-setting is to have many finish lines, closer in, and closer together.
And just maybe the value lies in the travel, not necessarily the destination. Maybe all that matters is what I learn during the process. How I grow from it. What if it’s just the process?
Okay – no more guilt. But, what about antsy? Why am I so antsy?
Because I have things to say. I just have to figure what and how to say them. If only for myself.
I’m approaching the end of another year of Bible Study Fellowship – one more week left in the book of Isaiah – and it’s time again to ponder what I’ve learned over the past nine months.
FYI: This isn’t the first time I’ve read Isaiah. I read the entire Bible many years ago, but back then it was more about going cover-to-cover than it was about discovering who God is. I think I just assumed I would gain a bit of divine knowledge via osmosis as I flew low and fast over the pages. I wanted to be able to claim, “I am a spiritual juggernaut. I’ve read every word in the Bible, from one end to the other, from the beginning to the end. I am the Alpha and the Omega of Bible readers.” I’m amazed God didn’t kick me off the edge of the world (it being flat, and all).
Besides Revelation, Isaiah was (and still is) the most intimidating book for me to tackle; hard to understand, yet filled with the most treasure…the “oooo and ahhh” book. But what I learned was worth every “huh?” and “I don’t get it.” I learned about His personality: His likes, His dislikes, His moods, emotions, and thoughts. Only trouble is, I learned more about Him than I think I wanted to know, because, now I know. Now I’m excuse-less. There is much I can still claim ignorance about, but much I can’t. I’m out there, vulnerable, unable to hide behind my lack of knowledge about what He wants and what He expects. There is a part of me that thinks I really screwed up this time. I should never have let Him get this close. Now, I’m accountable. And I HATE that!
So besides the “uh-oh” realization that I’ve been caught red-handed in my sin, what else did I learn (as if that wasn’t enough)? Well, I learned that:
- I’m not as self-reliant and self-sufficient as I think I am.
- I’m accountable to someone much bigger than my mother.
- God is infinitely patient, but does not have infinite patience.
- God has the power to hire and fire.
- Suffering is never in vain.
- Where God is concerned, fear is a good thing.
- Running from the consequences of my sin has been my life-long vocation; I only thought I was an executive secretary.
and, last but not least
- There is always hope.
Which brings me to one of those “duh” moments we all have from time to time.
A couple of weeks ago, on Easter Sunday, as a matter of fact, I was riding behind my husband on a motorcycle, leaving Alpine, Texas, headed for McDonald Observatory near Ft. Davis, with eight other motorcycles (and their riders, of course, since motorcycles are generally not remote-controlled). Recent wildfires had left a lot of land decimated, and I noticed one such very large, burned-out field on my left. And in the middle of all that blackened acreage stood two deer (or antelope, depending on who you ask), their soft, sable-colored forms in stark contrast to their surroundings, heads down, grazing on what I knew not. At the time, I thought “how sad. What can possibly be left to eat?” Since we were, at that moment, traveling about 75 miles an hour, I didn’t have a whole lot of time to reflect on it. I did, however, have the presence of mind to recognize that there was something important about that sight, something I was supposed to see. I just couldn’t grasp it.
So, the other day, as I was contemplating the last few chapters in Isaiah, it hit me: God always leaves a remnant! While it seemed at the time to be a bit odd seeing two deer (antelope?) in the middle of nowhere, I now understand that it was intentional…like He oh-so-perfectly staged the scene in order to illustrate in the simplest of terms the love, compassion, and mercy He gives to all of His creation. Yes, He brought them to a place of utter desolation, but He didn’t leave them there to starve, or make do on their own. While that field and seemingly all the grass in it was burned, destroyed–wiped out–there was still something there to eat…still something there to sustain life.
God always leaves a remnant.
And, there is always hope.