End of myself and my writing

In Desert Faith on October 7, 2008 at 2:30 am

Yesterday, I came home from work not knowing about the brimming anger I felt toward God.  Having not found any time to write or workout, I was entirely frustrated.  Mornings committed to writing have not been what I had hoped.  I have been gritting my teeth and straining toward writing a book with all the ‘practical steps’ that I know.  Nevertheless, I had made no progress during the last week.

A conversation with my wife helped me to better connect with the deep anger.  During our talk, I noticed how far I had felt from God recently.  I had not spent consistent time with Him (whether through study or prayer) for over a month.  Normally, I keep a steady diet of spiritual discipline, but have neglected it as of late.  I have been wanting a ‘newness’ in the way I meet with God.  But, not having pursued that desire, I have brought my investment in Him to a hault.

Discipline.  To an athlete, a writer, a husband, you name it; this quality can produce results.  But what about when discipline becomes self-destructive?  Often, I apply discipline to a set of rules I have constructed in my mind.  For instance, I tell myself that if I write every morning (diligently) that will lead to publishing and a completed book.  I have held so firmly to this schedule that I have not allowed for a dynamic relationship.  It reminds me of Paul talking about a boxer, whose fisticuffs are merely swung at air.  I am not landing these punches.

This tension between effective and self-destructive discipline reminds me of a friend’s song lyric.  The song is called Fatted Calf.  “And tell you dearly I love you so although I may mean it figuratively…But there are times I prefer the rules over what you did for me.”  I do prefer the rules.  But, the rigid schedule I have kept does not allow for a ‘dynamic’ relationship.  Perhaps this is the ‘newness’ for which I long.  I want a faith like Bruce Springsteen in the Rising.  (Rather that scripture meditation on my work breaks, I have walked with my iPod to the tunes of the Rising and other cds)  I think a healthy faith may contain a balance of scripture and song lyrics.  The lyrics, literature, and painting all pull me out beyond the restrictions I have known.  Sacred text grounds me in the greatest story ever told – by the greatest story teller.

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