As some may have noticed over the past couple of months, my writing output dried up a little. I haven’t been as consist as I usually am in getting out my devotionals. And it wasn’t out of laziness; there was real reasoning behind what I actually deemed a decision: the demands in my life were too great to sit down and write. I had spent time being sick, there were debilitating snow storms and tornadoes that wreaked havoc in our area and we were without electricity, work was overbearing for a multitude of reasons, and I needed a mental break from a handful of commitments in my life, with writing being one of them. I figured that this elimination would help me relax and de-stress, and I’d have one less thing breathing down my neck.
What a stupid decision that was.
At the time, I felt that writing was taking up too many of my resources, where if a month or two went by here and there, I would feel a sense of relief, that I could churn out devotionals whenever I felt like it. So, I thought, let’s blow this off for a bit. Instead, I would partake in relaxing activities that required little to no energy.
Yet, not putting forth the effort to write ended up causing more problems for me than actual writing. As a result, I didn’t feel like myself. I felt off. I was ornery, discombobulated, and unfulfilled. I tried filling up on other things that took a lesser amount of creative juices, but that didn’t work, either. What I was missing throughout all of this was one key aspect: in life, I need to write.
For many, we have that thing in our life that we need to do otherwise we don’t feel like ourselves. It’s our lifeblood. Without it, we dry up and/or suffocate. When I decided to not write, I discovered that writing is the thing that I need to be me. Without it, my life seriously suffers.
Since I’ve discovered this need, I’ve had to force-schedule myself to write, and as much as I kick and scream my way into it, once I start, it’s as if the world has quieted itself. I am alive and I am whole once again. How funny that the exertion of energy and resources, when allocated to the right places, can result in even more energy. When in the middle of writing, I feel the world coursing through me, electrifying me with each word I type. It completes me as a person. It is my lifeblood. My thing.
I mentioned this discovery to someone the other day who cited that many people go their entire lives and never discover what their thing is, that they just move from one unfulfilling thing to another, never finding that same serenity that I have been finding when I write.
Yet, why writing? And what is it I am feeling? With writing, I’ve realized that I am blessed with this ability, as if I was made to do it. In the 1981 film “Chariots of Fire,” the true story about British track athletes training for the 1924 Olympics, one of the main characters, who is quite skilled at running, is asked why he runs. His response is simple: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” Because this character discovered and embraced what God blessed him with, he feels alive, whole, and smiled upon by God. He knows the skill that he is infused with by God, and by embracing it, he is embracing life, and that God is pleased when he embraces his gift.
Now I know that some are reading this and thinking that there is nothing especially skilled about them that they can embrace, but believing that is part of the problem. We too often dismiss ourselves as nothing special, but nothing is further from the truth. Ephesians 2.10 states: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” If we believe that we are made in His image, with His hands, formed in the womb by Him, loved and cared for by the Creator of the universe, then we can begin to believe that we are in fact His masterpiece, and that our existence is imbued with great importance. Because He made us, we are uniquely special. And by believing that, we can begin to believe that we were made special with a purpose in mind. Our job is to find out what that purpose is, what our thing is, and when we embrace it, we can feel His joy. And even though I am bleary-eyed exhausted as I write this late at night after a day of insurmountable work and intense deadlines that at one point made my hands shake in real terror, I am now happy. Denying who I am and what I can do denies that happiness, something I didn’t realize until I chose to stop writing.
This week, spend time in prayer and meditation, asking Him to help you know in your heart that you are His creation, special and unique. Then, look for your thing. Find out what God has created inside of you. It may not be as extraordinary as being able to run in the Olympics, but it is special because He made you that way. Embrace that with all of your might despite how hard it may seem to get out of the starting gate, as once you embrace what it is you are blessed with and meant to do, you’ll quickly discover the joy of being created for a purpose. Amen.