Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Need bumpers for my bowling alley

I've fallen into a rut. Not sure how it happened. Most likely some innocent combination of so much to think/do/say/be over a short period of time that I lost the plot of my life. Regardless, today, I'm climbing back out.

Two things prompted this realization:

First, my friend Brian has a blog about Advent. I've never been particularly "Adventian" in my faith (I'm not all that liturgical, so unless someone reminds me or hands me a calender filled with chocolates, I can spend most of the pre-Christmas season unaware of the bigger spiritual picture) but this year, I'm trying to pay better attention. In the first three blogs, the focus hasn't been on what I expected--Jesus, Mary, the angel with the weird news--but rather the signs we get that indicate that God is up to something big and exciting, something we're invited to be part of. I like that idea.

Then I read a post over at Writer Unboxed by literary agent Donald Maass. He was talking about what makes a novel a "big" story: things like symbolism, having many windows into the story, parallels and reversals. As I read it, I realized how for me, "big" stories have a sense of playing out over time: they evolve, unfold, progress, stall. Things aren't rushed and time feels expansive. I can trust that things will happen when they should, because it's not up to me to get to the end of the story...that's the author's job.

I'm almost embarrassed to admit that this was a "Wow" moment for me: realizing that perhaps I can get out of my rut if I trust that it's not up to me to get my story to any certain point by any certain time. That I can try trusting and see how it works out.

Don't worry: I won't burden you with the awkward image of God as my author that you fear might be coming, nor will I saddle you with the pedestrian things that getting out of the gutter and back on life's bowling lane entail for me today. Instead, I'll leave you with this inspiration from writer/encourager Steven Pressfield about pushing through self doubt.

Happy bowling :)


Breeza said...

"...realizing that perhaps I can get out of my rut if I trust that it's not up to me to get my story to any certain point by any certain time."
This phrase really struck me. I always think I have to get to a certain point by a certain time (turning 30 etc). Thanks for the reminder that I don't!

James Patrick Conway said...

Truly understanding the liturgy is the key to unlocking a whole new world of faith