Friday, November 6, 2009

The Stolen Indulgence of Writing

I am currently reading a life-transforming book. Several, actually, but two in particular* are significantly impacting me. I am struck by the fact that books are companions that I can't do without. As life gets busier and busier, and available time gets as thin as weak tea, I sort of desperately snuggle down into whatever books I'm reading; stolen moments with these words, however brief, keep me focused and grounded and self-examining and growing.

Writing, blogging... not so much. Don't get me wrong. I am a writer - an avid writer - and getting my thoughts organized into something coherent and lucid is something I highly value. This happens easily when I choose to sit down to write, but when time is short, it gets passed over like a pleasant but unnecessary byway, by simple virtue of the time it takes. I can, and must, gather thoughts and examine motives and petition Deity and facilitate relationship... but when time gets scarce, these are accomplished in a sort of inverted cone of priority, with writing somewhere near the bottom. (Well, not near the real bottom, where things like watching a movie or stealing moments on Facebook reside; and certainly not in the "past the bottom" category of things I simply have no time for, where things like watching television shows reside.) But near the bottom of the cone, at the wider part, you will find a multitude of things I usually try to make time for no matter how busy I get with the dailyness of the "have to," each competing for a share of the fleeting spare moments...

And so, here I sit. I am in the quiet moments before the rest of my family awakens, wishing for a cup of tea wafting delicious hints of spice and sweet into my nostrils from warm hands. But there was no time for that this morning, as I sought to steal a few moments to write.

The narrow parts of the cone... pray, journal, breathe deeply the Scriptures... are musts.

The obligatory business parts of my life... plan and execute the schooling, pay the bills, prepare the meals, wash the clothes... are reluctant "musts" as well.

But the good books, the genuine fellowship, the significant conversation, the fun game together... these each vie for a share of the remaining time. A good cup of tea and a chance to try the hand with the pen stick their noses in there, too...

Life is a mystery; a glorious, fleeting treasure to be revered and cherished and experienced and savored... loveliness, beauty, music, family, creativity, laughter, art...

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things" (Phil. 4:8). My hope and prayer, my delight, is to live life fully through my beloved God and through the people He has given me to love and to serve.

"We can pray." My husband just quietly slipped into the room, whispering those words. And with that, I travel back up the cone, leaving this stolen indulgence of writing...

*Anderson, Neil T. Victory over the Darkness, 2nd Ed. Ventura: Regal Books, 2000.
*Swenson, Richard A, M.D. The Overload Syndrome. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1998.

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