Life is hard.
(As Sarah blows us away by stating the obvious…)
It’s 2 o’ clock. It’s Thursday. And I’m staring at my keyboard, knowing full well that a blog post should have been published an hour ago, even though I’ve only just started writing one.
So much for preparedness.
I have four unfinished paintings in my portfolio, an art teacher whom I promised I’d keep up with but haven’t, and a handful of sketches I’m supposed to finish for a client but can’t because life, man, life.
So much for improving.
My To-Be-Read list is a mile high and I have borrowed-books that need to be returned, but I’m only 50 pages into the first one because who has time for reading when there’s so much OTHER stuff that needs to be done?
So much for completing my Goodreads goal.
My stupid book languishes in four major plot holes, but I haven’t worked on it in almost a week because even when I’m not preoccupied with blogging or emailing or reading or whatnot, my poor brain is so fried from writers’ block that it’s not even funny.
So much for NaNoWriMo giving me a head-start.
College classes have deposited my mind and soul in the era of Aristotle and Homer, but I barely retain anything I’m learning because my focus is simultaneously heading in three different directions, each one promising to be more important than the rest.
So much for improving my mind.
The list goes on and on and on, stretching into an eternity of selling my soul to writing. And it bothers me; it bothers me that I can’t be on top of life, that I haven’t kept up with my commitments, that these comparatively trivial things cause way more stress than I’m ready to admit. It bothers me that even though I feel like my mind is caught in a time-loop of never-ending busyness, I haven’t actually accomplished anything.
I look at this massive list of to-do’s and won’t-ever-do’s, feeling the weight of my creative endeavors crushing me like the garbage compactor in Star Wars. And yet the fact remains: If I haven’t done any of this stuff, what have I been doing with my all-too-precious time?
I honestly have no clue.
But when I look at the list…
There’s so much to be done.
Which leads to being cripplingly overwhelmed. Which leads to throwing in the towel and not doing any of it. Which leads to starting the vicious cycle all over again.
Welcome to the perfectionist’s mind: If I can’t do ALL OF IT RIGHT NOW, I’m a failure.
In short — perfectionists are stupid.
(As Sarah blows us away by stating the obvious AGAIN…)
In the time it’s taken for me to write this far, here’s the stunning conclusion I’ve come to: God called me to be a writer, just as He calls some to become missionaries, or pastors, or doctors, or electricians, or undertakers. But that’s just it: GOD called ME.
God didn’t call my writing.
God didn’t call my blog.
God didn’t call my art.
GOD called ME to serve him with my whole heart, my whole life, and my whole attitude.
And as God called me, so I must follow. I’m required to serve him through my talents, and that means toil. He wants me to bust my brain at something, even when I don’t necessarily feel like it. He wants me to persevere in my chosen path, even when discouragement gets me down and the fear of failure cripples me. He wants me to work hard at what I do and never give up, no matter what obstacles block my path.
But He doesn’t want me to be so consumed with my calling that I forget the One who called me to it.
Writing is important to me, and will remain so. But in the grand scheme of life, writing is only as important as the things I sacrifice to become a better writer. If I sacrifice spending time with my family, will that make me a better writer in God’s eyes? If I sacrifice the development of my mind, will that make me a better writer in God’s eyes? If I sacrifice spending time in prayer and His word, will that make me a better writer in God’s eyes?
If you answered those questions with an emphatic NO, then you deserve a gold star.
As a wise friend told me when she fell prey to my whining, “Time isn’t measured in sequential distance — it’s measured in moments of eternal value. It doesn’t matter how fast or efficiently you climb the ladder if the ladder’s leaning against the wrong wall.”
(Thank you, Kate Flournoy, for unwittingly making a guest appearance. You’re inspirational, darling.)
So you know what I’m gonna do?
I’m gonna publish this blog post before I have time to overthink how lacking it is in the snark department. And once that’s done, I’ll pick up my to-do list again, and ignoring everything on it but the first thing, I’ll do that thing. Even if I don’t get the whole list done. Even if those four half-finished paintings stay unpainted, even if I only read 20 pages today, even if I only write 100 words for my book.
The Lord doesn’t care how much we accomplish, as long as we do it with the right heart — and do it for Him.
Life is hard.
But putting one foot in front of the other, taking one step at a time, focusing on what is directly in front of me, I shall conquer.
Thank you for bearing with me through this random and scattered rambling of mine. It began as a rant-style outpouring of frustration over the fact that I had no clue what to post about, and somewhere along the line became the actual post.
Don’t ask me how that happened.