Last night I sat here for three hours and couldn’t think of a thing to write. And to think that followed my post on head pain!
Oh, I had lots of ideas. But nothing I thought anyone would really care about reading. I flipped through page after page of writing books looking for inspiration.
Why in the world did I start a writing blog anyway? What do I have to say that others who know more can’t say better? I mean I haven’t even worked on my WIP for–I don’t know–weeks? I researched some while I was sick, but then I had classes to teach and income taxes to do and now I have a cold. Oh, and the time change. Yeah. That.
Anyway, after I dozed off and bonked my head on the table and wiped the drool off the keyboard, I went to bed. Awake now, I picked up the book–If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg.
Chapter two. Boat Potatoes.
And I couldn’t help but put the whole chapter in the context of writing.
John wrote about the tragedy of the unopened gift. He told about the most beautiful china his grandmother had collected over the years–and stored in the attic. “So my grandmother went to the grave with the greatest gift of her life unopened.”
When we went through my mother-in-law’s things, we found many that were never used–some beautiful placemats that she never took out of the box and some embroidered towels with a note pinned to them. “Please give these to Lucille. She made them for me.”
Lucille would not enjoy them, either. She had already died.
And that reminds me of all Mom King’s pretty china I inherited–still stored in the bottom of the buffet. Waiting to be passed down to a child who likely won’t use it. Because it has no meaning.
Anyway, John says when we receive a gift, we can choose to respond in two ways.
John uses the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) to illustrate that God is Lord of the gift and that we have a responsibility to use that hand-chosen, specially-designed gift. God will hold us accountable for how we use or don’t use what He gives us. And He won’t let us blame external circumstances or play the “when-then game.”
- Comparison is not an adequate excuse for the tragedy of an unopened (or underused) gift.
As writers, we can’t compare our talent with others, whether writers of best-selling books or writers of encouraging notes–though we can strive to increase our gift like the first servant.
- Fear is not an adequate excuse for an unopened (or underused) gift.
The last servant was afraid to risk, so he buried his talent and did nothing. Maybe he spent a lot of time reading books on how to invest or networking in the marketplace.
- Sloth is not an adequate excuse for an unopened (or underused) gift.
We writers are all good at finding something to do instead of what needs to be done when it comes to writing. Procrastinating. Or clutching comfort instead of challenge.
Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King