25 June 2010

writers block and listening for His voice

"Writer's block is a condition, associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition varies widely in intensity. It can be trivial, a temporary difficulty in dealing with the task in hand. At the other extreme, some "blocked" writers have been unable to work for years on end, and some have even abandoned their careers. It can manifest as the affected writer viewing their work as inferior or unsuitable, when in fact it could be the opposite." (Wikipedia)

Some of you might be thinking that it's rather odd that I start this off with a definition, especially for a condition associated with writing which I would consider myself inept at. But there is a reason and I shall try to explain it, we'll see if I can actually explain it well. When I started this blog, I came up with this unplanned format that I shaped each of my blog posts to and it works. It starts off with something that is going on in my life, something that at first glimpse may seem ordinary or mundane, and then applying it somehow to my walk with God.

Lately, I haven't been posting as often as I did during the school year. Its not because I am losing interest in blogging but more because I found out that some of my friends read my blog. Every time I think about blogging now, instead of inspiration coming quickly, I start to worry about whether my current idea is good enough; whether it will live up to my friends' expectations. I realized this week that to a certain extent, I have writers block (or in my case, bloggers block?). I'm telling you this because this is what's going on in my life and because the very condition that I "have" has cured me.

How many times in your life have you felt like no matter how much you yell, shout, plead, or cry out to God that he is not answering you? I know I have definitely lost track of how often that happens for me! It's like the open phone line between you and God is out-of-order, or at the very least, on hold. Just as I have a case of writers block, we can sometimes feel like we get hearing-God block, a condition in which it appears that God is not answering our prayers. Psalm 18:6,16 says, "In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried out to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears... He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters." Sounds to me like he hears my cry, and he answers me! Maybe hearing-God block isn't actually a condition, maybe the problem is that we are yelling and shouting so loud that we fail to hear God's quiet voice whispering "I hear you. I'm coming, my daughter."

That makes me think of my 2 month old niece. Here's what sometimes happens when she is hungry. She will start fussing and then it turns to crying. And if food doesn't come fast enough, the crying will escalate and continue getting louder and louder. In her young mind, she is so sure that mommy can't hear her cries for her and thus the crying escalates because of that on top of her hunger.  Now, my sister is a very good mother. This is how it goes from her perspective. Before my niece ever starts crying for food, my sister is watching her and has noticed that she is getting hungry. So she starts getting ready to feed her. (Its usually about this time that my niece starts crying) As my sister is getting ready, she is talking to her daughter, telling her over and over again in her quiet mothering voice that somehow miraculously came with motherhood, "I'm coming, baby girl. Mommy hears you."

Maybe the problem is not that God is not answering but that we are like my niece, so sure that God can't hear us that we shout louder and louder until we are worn out. God is always with us. Psalms 37:24 says that "the Lord holds them [the godly] by the hand." Maybe realizing that God is always there will help us calm down and then we will be able to hear God's wonderful voice whispering to us,

"I'm here, my child. I hear you and I'm coming."

God, thank you for always being with me, holding my hand and never letting me fall. When I am in trouble and crying out to you, help me to remember that you will never let go of me and that you do hear my cries.

"Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress."
                                                                   ~ Psalm 107:6, 13, 19, 28

11 June 2010

do-overs and perfect timing

Have you ever wanted a do-over in life? A chance to go back and change a specific part of your life; to take that one risk that you have forever since wished you had; to do that one thing that you regret not doing; to not make the decision that you wish you had not made? I know I have wished there were do-overs in life. For one, it would make decision making a lot less stressful. I mean, if the decision you made turned out differently than you thought it would, you could just do-over the decision. But if there were do-overs, then what would force us to grow in our relationships with friends and more importantly, God?

This summer, I've been doing a lot of soul searching. Have you ever had those time periods in your life? The times where you just want to sit around and contemplate the deep stuff in life; when you figure out what your purpose in life is? That's what I've been doing lately.

So much has happened since I graduated from high school, not just events that have happened like my sister getting married or my niece being born but deep stuff about the very essence of who I am. That summer before I started college seems so far away now. If somebody had told me then that where I am today is where I would be going into my junior year, I doubt I would have believed them. And yet here I am in the summer before my junior year. The same person yet intricately different because of the decisions that I have made.

The person that I am today is a result of making the decisions that I have made. The growth that I have seen in my relationships is because of those decisions and their impact on my relationships. How can I wish for a do-over when that do-over would change every single part of my life? How can I not trust that God is in control?

What if I had figured out what I want to major in before I started college. If I had, then I would be at a different school; I wouldn't have gained the friends that I have; and most of all, I wouldn't be the God-follower that I am today. God knew that for me to have the relationship that I have with him today, I had to go to the school that I did and make the decisions that I made. What I'm trying to say, is that God's timing is absolutely perfect.

God, help me to remember, especially in the times that I wish I could have a do-over, that you are in control and that your timing is perfect. Help me to trust that your plan for my life is the best possible plan. And give me the patience to wait for your leading.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
                                            ~ Jeremiah 29:11