I’ve not written in my writing journal since 1stJuly.
I’ve not worked on my project since 30th June.
I’ve not been actively writing on my two blogs.
I’ve been lackadaisical for 15 days – possibly longer!
Even today, I didn’t feel like doing anything. Didn’t feel like pursuing my passion. Didn’t feel like writing.
At the back of my mind, I’ve known I should push past this feeling and just get on and do. I know when I put my mind to it that inertia flees and the interest returns. Even now as I write, I sense the spark of enthusiasm igniting. And, strange though it may sound, even my fingers feel exhilarated, as they move across the keyboard. I’m back – just like that!
So what kept me away?
At least that’s part of the story.
The other part is that the Enemy is at work. I know he is. I know he does not want me to succeed. He does not want me to fulfil my potential. He wants another of God’s protégés to go to their grave with their gifts and abilities, dreams and vision still sheathed, undeveloped, unexpressed and unused.
And yet, even though I’m aware of this, I give in to uncool feelings. I give in to my I-don’t-give-a-damn inertia of the moment and allow it to take me into extended periods of self-sanctioned slothfulness, or complacent inactivity. And whilst I’m doing this, I hear a little voice saying “I don’t care” and I listen to that voice and silently endorse its rebellious attitude.
But now, as I write, I realise that deep down I do care. I realise that voice was not me at all, or if it was me, then it was the voice of the old Carol, the non-productive Carol, the I-do-things-when-I-feel-like-Carol-and-right-now-I-don’t-feel-like!
I know when I behave this way that later I’ll be remorseful. Later I’ll beat myself up for all the time I’ve wantonly squandered, watching NCIS, or watching some other person who has fulfilled their dream, whether it’s purchasing a house in the country or abroad, or cooking their way to celebrity fame, or some writer whose script has been made into a film or TV programme. I know it but yet I give in to the voice and call of apathy.
And during this time, I surf. I stalk the sites of other writers and bloggers. Successful writers and bloggers. I read. I admire. And I feel jealous. I read. I admire. And I hope to one day experience similar success. One day!
But that day has not arrived yet.
I have no one to blame. No one to point the finger at, as the reason for my sudden stagnation. No one but me, myself and I!
I can’t even blame those who stir my anger, who orchestrate scenarios designed to humiliate, whose antics provoke me to sit and stew over the way I’m being treated, or grieve about my loss of self-esteem. I can’t blame those whose actions or words I’ve allowed to distract me from my goals and my determination and my vows of self-discipline; whose targeted tactics I’ve allowed to sap my motivation. I can’t even really say: “the devil made me do it!”
Because in reality I am more mature than that – aren’t I?
I know better than to give in to that listless, why-bother? mode – don’t I?
I know I should gird up the loins of my mind and let the negative thoughts go, let the offending persons go, whom the Enemy uses following key moments of achievement, sustained productivity, or exuberant success, to knock me off my man-made pedestal.
I know I should let them go from my thoughts, let them go from my desire for retribution, let them go from the un-Christ-like deliberations entertained within my heart. I know I should do so, and do so quickly, graciously, mercifully, the way God does for me, but to do so feels all wrong to my hurting heart, my wounded pride, my stomped-upon ego, my self-righteous sense of justice.
And that’s the issue.
The “me”. The “my”. The “myself”. The interminable preoccupation with “I”.
It’s an issue because God’s Word says:
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
(Galatians 2:20 NKJV)
Christ decided that I was worth the cost of giving up his reputation, his equality and standing with God, so that he could fulfil his Father’s will and die for me, so I may experience Zoe life (the God-type of life), so I may experience reconciliation with God, so I may experience the stupendous, supernatural benefits of salvation.
Without Christ’s death, none of this would have been possible. And without Christ choosing to lay down his life and humbly submit to his Father’s will, there would have been no glorious resurrection.
Christ was mocked. He was rejected, he was falsely accused, even betrayed. But he found a way to rise above his circumstances, and fulfil his calling. Despite the misunderstandings. Despite the mud-slinging. Despite the malicious intent of people around him. Despite the Machiavellian manoeuvres of his arch-enemy.
This same Christ lives in me. This same resurrection power is available to me.
And so I have a choice. I can listen to the Enemy’s lies and suggestions and give in to the fleshly dictates of my heart, or I can do what I need to do—add works to my faith, add obedience to my knowledge, add self-discipline to my intentions and, having done so, emerge from the plots of pernicious folk, from the schemes and snares of Satan, from the inadequacies of Carol, as a purpose-driven believer, as a triumphant dream-achiever, as a victorious overcomer.
I can choose to be a victor.
By God’s grace I can, and by God’s grace I will!
Today, I choose to silence that rebellious voice. I choose to lay down my fleshly inclinations. I choose to rise up and resume my place as a victorious overcomer.
Lord, I choose to decrease and allow you to increase in my life. Father-God, let not my selfish will be done but your perfect will. Kingdom of God come, be manifested in my circumstances. Will of God be done, in and through my life, today, tomorrow and always!
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
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