Those of you who have a passion for something know how easy it is to immerse yourself in the chase and lose all awareness of the here and now. As evidenced by the butterfly bandage on my left index finger, a finger quite important to the task of writing, my capacity to pay attention to what I’m doing in the here and now has lately been diminished.
Now, I could say that it’s God’s fault for giving me the passion to write in the first place. Some of you might even buy my argument. And together we would walk down rationalization road, continuing to burrow our way into a non-reality governed by our own addictions and appetites. God would be there too, but only as a bystander awaiting our return to cognizance.
Unfortunately, I know too much. Right now, I am pushed. I am challenged. I am asked to trust Him and hand over to Him my “say” over the day and how much of it I can spend obsessing about the details of being a writer. I want to spend all of it on the details of being a writer! And therein lies the rub. I have a family, I have friends, I have a house that needs cleaning, and a little dog that’s losing her sight and her hearing and needs a little more attention than she used to. Those are the things that have no effect on how much progress I make in the business of being a writer. But they are the good things; good things of immediate and often eternal value.
Right now, good things are mostly about not doing some of the things I’ve been doing lately, like eating the large bag of popcorn at 8:45 when bedtime is at 9:15. Or reading the day’s news on my Kindle until midnight and expecting to wake up at 6:00 am feeling rested.
My passion for writing in and of it self is good. And I’m a pretty disciplined person. But when you put me and passion together in the same room, my overachieving mind and dysfunctional need to be “up and running” make me vulnerable to the deceptive power of adrenaline. Adrenaline winds me up in a tornado funnel of mental overdrive, filling my thoughts with design ideas for systems I’m building, the greater efficiencies I might gain with a few tweaks, and the next things I should do to further my objectives. It’s addicting. And it makes me disappear from the life around me.
It’s also exhausting. I’m exhausted. But adrenaline refuses to let me rest, and I too often fall for adrenalines’ argument. Adrenaline says if you just keep going, if you just persevere, if you just drink more 5-hour Energy you’ll get it done. Determination wins the day! Focus gets the result! Clear the deck of all commitments to others and all commitments to yourself. You’re on a mission; sacrifices must be made!
Jesus stands by while I whirl as a spectacular dervish who thinks she’s making things happen. He’s not shaking His head in disappointment. He’s not constantly looking at His watch (He doesn’t actually wear one). He’s not standing there with a knowing smirk as He awaits the inevitable sound of a woman crashing with a jar of peanut butter. He’s not doing any of those things that know-better people do when you’re doing something they disapprove of but aren’t willing to help you untangle yourself.
You know what He’s doing?
If I quiet my thoughts long enough I notice a breeze has touched my face and for a moment reality breaks through.
There is only today.
There is only what’s in front of me now.
He has tomorrow.
And tomorrow He’ll put in front of me what needs to be done.