So Monday I was reading in my old journal as part of my pre writing routine and found this, dated 25 November 2000…
“Just getting started. I’ve again wasted the morning and I suppose I need to stop blaming my circumstances… [My husband]’s gone hunting and [my son]’s playing computer games before getting read to go to his friend’s… maybe… I find myself just waiting, feeling like a leaf blown here and there — no goal, no target, just whatever moves me. Not good.
“Anyway, even now I need to do Bible class, I don’t know when my hubby will be back, I want to start (writing) but I don’t want to if I’ll just have to quit. Plus I still haven’t developed any momentum. I feel detached from the work. It’s like when you read a book in small increments over weeks. It’s hard to bring it all together in your mind. Right now I can hardly remember where I am (in the book).”
Well, that’s exactly where I’ve been for way too long in this current work. I could’ve written those words on Monday (or today, for that matter) and was excited to copy them into my current journal (don’t ask me why but I like copying things down into notebooks and journals — I guess it makes the thoughts stand out more; and I think I hope it will make they stick in my mind though clearly, that’s not often the case the way I keep getting surprised by things I’ve written down in the past that could describe today.)
Anyway, as I copied it, I recalled how Satan will send distractions — and it seems there have been a lot of hindrances, distractions and interruptions of late… come to think of it, not just of late, but for a really long time. Some are big and obvious, some are small, some are things that get me sidetracked and focused on stuff that may not be what I’m supposed to be doing but I’m so caught up in the moment, or the focus of “getting it done” I don’t think about that. (At least not clearly enough to STOP what I’m doing and get to work).
And he sends more than just distractions. At this point I recalled a little excerpt from notes from Bible Class I’ve got tacked to my bulletin board where I can see it every day, if only I’d look (one I’ve probably posted here before, but obviously it doesn’t hurt to be reminded):
“Satan knows how to attack your mind, body and emotion(!!) and his intent is to STOP you from going forward in God’s Plan for your life. That could mean the intake of doctrine, the application of doctrine, and specifically the function of your spiritual gift (!!) If we saw the invisible realm, we’d be shocked at the plots to disrupt concentration, cause problems and get us to quit. To rip apart our mental attitude and get us sidetracked with something that doesn’t matter. He destroys patterns and routines. He loves to tear the mind apart with negative viewpoint. He attacks the emotions, gets you to react, beats you down. And he’ll attack your body…”
I had forgotten much of this but as I read it, it all jumped to the fore. I’ve been experiencing a lot of this. Even the attack on my body in the form of sleep deprivation… Could this be a reason I seem to have been stymied at every attempt to get back to writing?
And lately it seems almost worse to get in a day or two and then be interrupted for five, then not to do anything at all. Why? Two reasons.
First, because the days I do get some work done make me think that the interruptions are just anomalies, happenstance. That today was just an aberration, but tomorrow it will be back to the “routine”. Then I let my guard down and when tomorrow doesn’t work out either, I give up and just let things go and days go by… filled with legitimate activities — it’s not like I’m sitting around watching old movies. I’m getting stuff done, I’m doing good things, worthwhile things… just not functioning in what I believe to be my spiritual gift.
Second, because when I only get in a day or two and then get interrupted for five, and come back, I have to start all over and when you keep repeating that cycle, you really do get worn down. I never make any progress so when I finally get back to it, I start to dread a repeat of what’s happened so many times before. I also get bored with the work, since I keep going over and over the same stuff and never breaking out of it.
I confess I’ve been waiting for circumstances to change, to “settle down.” Today, right now I believe they are not going to settle down. I’ve realized this is just like the decisions you have to make when you embark on making sure you listen to Bible class every day. As soon as you do, all kinds of challenges come up. And if you give in to them, each time you fail to do the class, it gets easier the next time.
I know this sequence well. I’ve been very hard-nosed about making sure I get class in every day. I think it’s time to apply that (once again) to writing — though it makes me uneasy to declare it so clearly here on the blog because now the enemy will know what I intend. And adjust accordingly.
Fortunately greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world.