about writing and life and God

Baby steps

on November 13, 2012

I don’t think the elephant would notice but I have made some tiny progress. I feel like one of those birds that pecks the bugs on the back of rhinos. Ignored, they concentrate on the job, one peck at a time, and achieve their object – getting fed.

So, I shall follow suit.

I decided on a new strategy this morning. Instead of hitting the laptop and checking emails, Facebook, new blog posts and all the other fascinating stuff available to me that takes up such a huge amount of time and energy, I’d simply clear the breakfast table and grab the folders on the new book and get down to it.

I admit I didn’t stick with it for hours – but I never promised that! I promised myself baby steps. So I took the first one, worked out what the next one will be and moved on to the next project on my To-Do list.

And that I think may be something of my problem. Several projects simultaneously shouting for attention. Two have serious deadlines. One has a totally not-missable deadline. That’s Sunday morning’s service. No way can you turn up empty-handed and explain, ‘Sorry, got preacher’s block!’

I think that’s probably theologically unsound too. If I don’t have anything to say, I shouldn’t get up there and make something up. My job is to listen for what God wants said and then get up there and pass it on faithfully.

Writing, as a calling, isn’t so different. Again, the impulse, the message, the starting gun is not in our hands. (Let’s not waffle about with tosh about Muses!) The inspiration and the message is God’s. It’s our job to pass it on faithfully and as effectively as possible (which is where working at our craft and polishing our skills and becoming the best writers we can be come in).

And maybe it’s that knowledge of what we’re really up to that stops us in our tracks and sends us off to the safety of the kitchen and another mug of coffee.

It’s an awesome partnership. Like Isaiah faced by the sight of God enthroned on high, we need to have a healthy awareness of our own ‘unclean lips’, our need for God’s forgiving, cleansing, healing, inspiring and enabling.

And then trust: trust that if God has chosen us for this task, he will equip us and resource us.

All we have to do is get back to the keyboard and tackle another baby step. And another…



2 responses to “Baby steps

  1. Barbara Schultz says:

    This is so true, Dorothy! Once we take the first baby step, it gets easier to take each next one. Someone said the same thing today: we need to concentrate on the things God is telling us to do for just that one day, one thing at a time, and then do the same the next day, rather than worrying about the future. If we’re in relationship with Him, we will be led by Him. Thank you for writing this!

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