You would think the life of a writer would be dull and uneventful. I mean, after all, what could be exciting about sitting at a computer all day, composing stories, editing manuscripts and formatting books? Boring, right? In a word, HUH?
First off, the writing process itself is far from boring. My mind is constantly swirling with new book ideas, fascinating character traits and inventive plots. Besides that, while I do spend my days at home in front of the computer, I have two dogs (one of whom is very energetic) and a timeworn house. Now, for those of you who have dogs, I'm sure you can understand how they can turn the most mundane event (like folding laundry or loading the dishwasher) into an ordeal. The rest of you will just have to try to imagine. But you're probably all scratching your heads at the comment about the old house. How can an old house make things interesting? Well, I'm not sure interesting is the word I would use to describe it, but to give you an idea of what I'm talking about, I'll provide you with an example.
Several months ago, the speckled ceiling in our kitchen began to crack and then to sag in certain places. As time progressed, the sags split apart, leaving large pieces of speckled ceiling hanging down, like an upside-down hatching egg. (Note, there is not a hole in the ceiling itself, just the heavy layer of speckled paint. Praise the Lord for that!) Anyway, day after day, I watched the progress of the impending mess. Part of me wanted to just climb up there and pull the large chunks away, but another part of me thought that maybe if I left it alone, I'd be able to fix it at some point. (Yeah, right!) Unfortunately, before I could make a decision one way or another, the problem resolved itself. . . sort of. As I worked on dinner one evening, one of the pieces decided to let go, followed by another and then another. The resulting mess from those three pieces hitting the floor was indescribable, not to mention the scream that poured out of my lips before I realized what was happening. I instantly became Chicken Little. "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" Who knew falling paint could be so loud?
See what I mean now? Never a dull moment!
As I cleaned up the mess from the fallen paint, I realized how often I feel just like that speckled surface, hanging on for dear life day after day, struggling to keep my grip despite the trials and heartaches that pull at me. With each disappointment and frustration, my strength sags a little more and my grip weakens. Finally, when I've taken all that I can, I release my grip and find myself falling, in danger of being smashed to pieces. All my hopes. All my dreams. All my expectations. I see them crumble before my eyes.
Fortunately, unlike the paint, I never hit the ground, for strong arms are waiting to catch me. Those same arms hold and comfort me. They offer strength where mine has failed, and while I no longer have to ability to grip onto anything, those hands hold me firmly in their grasp. And instead of crumbling, I feel myself melting into the tender embrace. Tired and weary from my struggles, all I can do is rest in those strong arms, confident that no harm can befall me as long as I reside within the shelter of His grip. And at that moment, I realize that those arms had been holding me all along. I was never in danger of falling in the first place. I had merely been so blinded by my own efforts and trials that I had forgotten where my strength truly lies. I needed to release my grip before I could remember that He had never released His.
Life is not about holding on. It's about trusting in the One who's holding on to you.
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. - Jude 1:24-25