dorothystewartblog

about writing and life and God

How to resist resistance

on December 11, 2012

Chocolate ice cream cookie cake. With more ice cream. That’s what I had for pudding today.

I was out for lunch with friends. We have several things in common but the two which first brought us together are God/church/Jesus and a feeling that we needed to lose weight. Yes, this is the small slimming group I belong to. And today was our Christmas lunch at a delightful local pub restaurant. Especially delightful for me because it actually offered a full vegetarian menu. On a separate card, not a few items tucked ignominiously at the bottom of the carnivore offerings.

I had the sweet potato and chickpea curry with rice. Washed down with a spritzer. Delicious and satisfying.

Then the waitress appeared with the puddings board. In three sections: home-made puds like plum and apple crumble, sticky toffee pudding and so on; a selection of sorbets; and finally a selection of speciality ice creams.

Now here I have to confess that I don’t really have a sweet tooth. But it seems that a meal out is not complete without pud. As each of my friends chose (and deliberated about the addition of custard, ice cream or cream with their choice), I decided I’d go for chocolate. I do like chocolate – dark chocolate. Occasionally.

It was pretty amazing. As were all the other puddings that arrived at our table.

But it made me wonder: why is it so easy to do the things that we know we really shouldn’t do, yet it’s hard to do the things we know we really should do?

It’s easier to slump in front of the telly and watch Strictly than drag the ironing board into the sitting room and get that mountain of ironing done.

It’s easier to play Sudoku on the iPad than write that difficult letter.

It’s easier… You’ve probably got your own list.

Digital Image

What I find weirdest of all is how hard I can find it to get myself to the keyboard to write the current works-in-progress… when once I’ve got started, it makes me happier than almost anything else I can imagine doing.

I know it’s called resistance. A truly counter-productive barrier that shoots into place and gets in your way. Recognition of the problem doesn’t shift it. It’s as though it sprouts a grinning face with fingers stuck in ears and a mouth that taunts ‘Na, na, na, na, na. You can’t write today! We won’t let you!’

Some folk like to think of a kindly muse who provides inspiration. Me, I believe in the Holy Spirit from whom all the creative power in the cosmos derives. So who’s trying to stop me? Who doesn’t want to get the good words out that might change the world and save some souls?

You got it. The opposition. A bunch of cheats who try to make the time-wasting stuff (and the pounds-piling-on stuff) and the damaging-you-in-the-end stuff look momentarily – at your point of weakness – more attractive than the work you’re called to do, the life you’re called to live, the marriage you’re called to honour… If they can con you just once, they win. And you lose.

I reckon resistance is far too small and innocuous a word for the sabotage that comes our way.

If you’ve signed up for Christ, you’ve signed up for a battle. When the attack comes to try to keep us from our keyboards, let’s be aware of what’s going on and fight fire with fire.

Next time you’re faced with that barrier, that grinning face with the taunting ‘Na, na, na, na, na. Not today!’, boot it into the distance in the name of the Lord and take back your territory.

The war is won. Let’s keep it that way in our lives.

 

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7 responses to “How to resist resistance

  1. Helen Murray says:

    You have no idea how much I needed to hear that today. Thankyou. The Holy Spirit gave you those words, alright.
    I hope the pudding was extra special.

  2. scskillman says:

    Thank you for this excellent post, Dorothy. I ‘ve read a book called “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield which is all about Resistance; I recognised it not only on my creative journey but throughout my life. In regard to food and weight loss, you were enjoying time out with your friends and you all did exactly the right thing in choosing food that you loved, that gave you pleasure (that reflection has arisen from a book I’m currently reading “Fat is a Feminist Issue” by Susie Orbach). Apart from those two observations, I think the conclusion to your post is spot-on. Everything you say in your last three paragraphs is absolutely right. You have encouraged and strengthened me with your words. Thank you!

    • The concept of resistance came from the excellent Steve Pressfield book. Lot of good helpful material there. I’d forgotten the Susie Orbach book. That takes me back…. And I’m still struggling with y weight!

  3. Pat Williamson says:

    Tongue in cheek I would say that not all opposition comes from ‘the opposition’ There is such a thing as ‘the flesh’!!!!! Glad you enjoyed today

  4. Wendy Jones says:

    Very well said and I’m with you on the pudding theme 🙂

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