Some days, I don’t know what to write. And when I don’t know what to write, I simply don’t. I’m learning that there is a discipline writers follow to write every day – even if they wind up throwing it all away. That’s always seemed remarkable to me. I typically wait to hear God speak and then write down what he says – more or less. Today, I’m trying it the other way to see what happens.
I’m aiming to write several days a week – not always in my blog. Every day seems a bit much right now. And I have other things I want to write, so there are days set aside for those writings. For example, I have been writing to Sarah since she was born. I tell her about what she’s naturally good at doing and what sort of things I want her to know when she grows up about how her early years were so powerful. I always wished I had something like that to reference, so I figured I would give that to her. I don’t know when I’ll give it to her – maybe as a graduation gift? Or maybe there will simply come a time when it seems she needs to read it. I’m open to how that unfolds.
It’s harder to write when you don’t have God whispering in your ear. I may have to get some writing exercises to see how this progresses. I think I have to be open to how all that unfolds as well. And as I think about it, we have to be open to how everything unfolds. Stress seems to come from resisting the way the unfolding is occurring or from trying to make it unfold in a certain way. Reflecting on this metaphor a bit, I think about various things that unfold – a rose bud, the wrapping on a package, a table cloth, a love letter. We don’t usually restrict or try to control the ways those things unfold. So, why do we do it with our lives? God probably just laughs at us.
Can you imagine if you were looking at a rosebud every day trying to get it to unfold and blossom in the way YOU thought was best or that you wanted? Can you imagine opening a package and trying to unfold it exactly how you wanted rather than being focused on whatever was inside the box? What if instead of just opening up the tablecloth and putting it on the table, regardless of how it unfolded, you studied each fold and debated whether it was a good fold or a bad fold in your head? What if you tried to pull it a certain way as you unfolded it only to realize a wrinkle had formed in the middle – deep within the folds you could see? You’d get out the iron, right? (Not if you’re me! My mother will confirm it’s true that the iron doesn’t fit my hand.) And I feel pretty confident in my belief that no one pays attention to the folds when he or she is unfolding a love letter. We just want to see what beautiful words were written to us. We stay focused on the prize at the end – not the process of getting to the prize.
I think God’s prize for us here on earth is abundance and peace. He says that’s why he came to earth. If we focus on that prize, rather than the manner in which he has wrapped those gifts, we can simply observe the glorious unfolding and watch as the gifts appear. Sure, there may be some wrinkles we didn’t know would be in there – maybe even some stains we can’t remove. And we may have to figure out how to deal with those. Overall, though, we’ll get to witness the extraordinary blossoming that is occurring and we’ll get to experience the abundance and peace that are our gifts.
I keep a quote on my desk from Anais Nin. It seems quite relevant today:
It takes courage to push yourself to places that you have never been before… to test your limits… to break through barriers. And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful that the risk it took to blossom.
I hope we can all watch with anticipation as our gifts from God unfold before our very eyes without getting too caught up in the manner in which things in our life are unfolding. If we can do that, believing that the gifts will show themselves even if the unfolding is messy or confusing or not as we would have done it, I believe it’s possible to keep hope alive and keep a spirit of thanksgiving in our hearts.
Take this post as an example. I had no idea where it was going. And look what just unfolded.