Things have been happening, lately; mostly inside. I don’t mean inside my house, but inside my thinking. Since I haven’t really been able to get a handle on it, I haven’t been writing about it. But last Sunday I read an article that really blew the doors off, so much so that, though I felt freed, I was not really sure how my newly acquired perspective fit into everything. Nor was I sure it was going to last. I’m still not sure, but things do seem to be falling into place.
For awhile now I’ve been wrestling with the sewer. The icky feeling. The self-condemnation for being slothful, undisciplined, impulsive, distractible. I’ve written about it here. I didn’t really know why I kept having this issue and finally asked God what was wrong with me.
I think He answered, but it’s been a process. He was already showing me even before I asked. Thus I’m going to go back to an entry I wrote in my journal last week .
29 March Monday 9:09am I’m in the sewer again. All anxious, condemning myself, confused, frustrated. I’ve put myself in a damned if you do/damned if you don’t situation. As I set this down, I see that I”ve had wildly unrealistic expectations for this day. I wanted to get up, make muffins, clean the house and work on Sky, all before I leave at 10:20 to take Mother to the Oncology Center for her treatment. In each of those scenarios, I imagined myself as relaxed, pursuing the objective without distraction or worry, as a believer in Christ should. But I was also, I realize now, imagining them all happening at the same time. Get up, do the morning routine while making the muffins and cleaning the bathroom, one giant integrated process whose separate steps were intermingled… or maybe it was just an alternate dimension thing where things were just happening simultaneously.
The reality is, there isn’t time to do all that. My morning routine ensures a limited amount of order and cleanliness, but it seems when I make that my priority, the writing doesn’t get done. Conversely, when I make the writing my priority the routine doesn’t get done, the house grows very dirty, laundry and ironing pile up and suddenly I have even more that is demanding I do it. Which is kind of where I am now. Today, just to catch up with the routine I have sheets to fold, clothes to iron, the floor to sweep, vacuuming, clean the bathroom, wash the muffin tin and hang out the towels (all of which have been put off and put off). I also need to go to the store, preferably before noon, since this is another task that was put off and now I don’t have food for lunch. After all that, I’ll be too tired to write and will just dink around again. If I write now, though, I’ll be too tired to do the housework when I get back — or at least too tired to make myself do what I won’t want to do. And the piles will just get bigger
So I have defined the problem. Both the house and the writing are important. How do I decide? If I go with emotion, I’ll pick writing and be upset about the house. If I go with “responsible thinking” I’ll pick the house and be upset about another day of no progress on the book. So what do I do, Lord?
Hmm. It’s arrogance that wants to control everything, isn’t it? Arrogance that wants my way even though that way is delusion. It’s me seeking MY kingdom instead of His.
And in my kingdom, one is required to do two things at the same time, be in two places at the same time and violate strictures of time and space. My kingdom involves the magic of traveling 100 miles in one hour while driving at a constant speed of 50 mph. In my kingdom you must do all required things, or disaster will befall you. What that disaster is, you aren’t allowed to know, only that it’s coming. Also, you must choose the correct thing to do if you insist you can only do one thing at a time. Choosing the wrong option leads off into that blank space at the end of the map where dragons will eat you.
So. In seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness (which is sane and sensible, unlike mine), I have only to stay in fellowship and seek His guidance, choose whatever option I’m led to choose and forget the others for now. Which, weirdly enough suddenly seems to be housework. Okay then. I will now ignore the clamor erupting at the back of my head about my calling and how I should be ignoring all the accumulated domestic tasks so I can work on the book. I will go with my choice and trust that God can set me straight if I’m wrong.
Or at the very least pick up the mess. And definitely save me from those dragons at the end of the maps.
Tomorrow: the blog on how distractedness may not be such an awful thing for writing after all… And a spot on description of what trying to work on the book has felt like of late.