Yesterday I caught up with a friend who I hadn’t seen in a fair while, maybe over a year. This is one of those friends who I can go that long without seeing and it feels like it’s only been a day. Spending this time getting coffee, driving around the beautiful coastline of Wellington in the sun, and exchanging ideas was some of the best time I had spent all week. It made me realise that even though I am becoming more intentional about how I spend my time and who I spend it with, I still have a long way to go before I am using my time as wisely as I am able—as wisely as God bids that I do.
If you’ve followed this blog for a bit you’ll know there are two things that really mix my batter, bake my cake, float my boat. Making music and writing stories. In their own way both are the creation of narratives, they just express them in different forms. While my friend drove us around the coastline he reminded me just how much I enjoy taking the time to listen to music. Removing all the distractions from around me and just listening helps me to be more in touch with the music and the emotion within its sound. The same thing can happen when I pick up my guitar, strum the strings and sing. I lose myself in the sound and find myself being drawn into the beauty that is more than the sum of the sounds recorded with the instruments. Right now I don’t have a better way to describe it than to let yourself be lost in the sound, to find what it’s trying to say to you.
Ideas form in my mind without me even actively focussing on doing so. This is often in the form of one or two lines of a verse, maybe to become song lyrics or a poem. Other times it is a few elements that when combined make the beginnings of an interesting story. (See: “Super-Annuation Man”, a superhero who is given some form of superpower as they are aging, but they have given a bequest to help an organisation’s research. Helps people while they’re alive but might help more when their life comes to a natural end.) I can only describe the receiving of these ideas as blessings from God which I have the capacity to mould and shape into fully fledged creations. Songs, stories, novels. Beautiful experiences to share with those around me.
Some of the ideas I have sit around for years before I come back to them and fully realise them. Some ideas have been sitting with me for over a decade and I still haven’t found the way to expand them into more than just an idea. Maybe I never will. But I keep on acknowledging these ideas and storing them away for a rainy day. As I said in my post Problem Perspective sometimes it’s not for us to find the solution.
The most inspiring thing I took away from catching up with my friend over coffee is that we have value. More than we think we do, and definitely more than the world tells us we have. We each have a different calling, with different gifts to help us accomplish it. It’s difficult to know for sure what that is, and it’s even more difficult to take the action to make it happen.
Acknowledge every step you take, forwards or backwards. Failures are the stepping stones of success. The faster we find the failures, the closer we are taking ourselves to the ideas that work.
I write because it seems more difficult not to. And though I am yet to publish a novel, or a collection of short stories, or poetry, I have plenty of words on this blog. I have many stories written, some good and some not so. It is not being published that makes me a writer: it is that I write. Every day. When I feel motivated, when I’m struggling with depression, when I feel I have nothing of import to say. I thank God every day for helping me find words, and helping me to keep seeking ways I can help others.
What do you find yourself being drawn back to? Not only the things that require your time, like work, and sleep, and eating. (But for some these might be the things that give you purpose!)
Find your light and share it with the world. God’s peace go with you as you do.