As we left for Orlando yesterday, we stopped at a red light. Here in the South we call all traffic lights red lights, but this one really did happen to be that color. A person on a motorcycle revved his engine repeatedly until the light changed. Did it make the wait shorter? No. did he waste gas? Yes.
When we got to downtown Orlando, we sat amazed when a car zoomed through a red light immediately before it changed to green. I’m sure he was in hurry or feeling anxious or mad, or something. Did he get where he was going faster? Maybe. I doubt it. When you are that heedless, you may not get there at all.
I have impulses too. Mostly it’s when I’m on the computer. If I were in less of a hurry and more careful I wouldn’t stress myself out nearly so much. I’ve been deciding for months that I want to hurry and finish my most recent novel quickly. In the mostly German community where I grew up the older people used to say, “The faster I go, the behinder I get.” That seems to apply to me, as well. I get nervous and overwhelmed and it spreads out from the computer to all the other rooms of my life. When I’m at the bathroom sink brushing my teeth I feel overwhelmed, or when I’m in the utility room ironing Bill’s shirts, I fret thinking I need to be doing my real work. I have a writer friend who once said, “The world waits for me, what am I doing cleaning toilets?”
When I started writing books, I said it wasn’t going to be this way. I was going to live, enjoy all the little nuances, and not rush through anything. But alas, now I’m trying to get finished so I can have a little vacation I’m planning. That would be a good reward for accomplishing what I set out to do. Alas, now that I have that deadline I feel worse than ever.
Do we know what all this rush and hurry stems from? Basically, for me, it’s fear. Did you know that the everyday ordinary child today has more fears than a psych patient in 1950? Just think how many more we may have accumulated over the years.
So, if I don’t get my book finished by the time of my own deadline, does that mean I’ll die or kill anyone? Nope. Does it mean I’ll go hungry or lose the respect of someone I love. No.
The Bible says we are but smoke; here today, gone tomorrow, and yet we think we have to rush around, make our mark, measure up. Then in the middle of all that…poof, she’s gone. I hope she had a good life. Oh, look at those pretty books she wrote.
I guess I’m saying that I really do love writing books. I love my characters, I love putting words together. I really enjoy working with others to make them the best they can be and get them off to market. But it’s possible that when I rush, the quality of my work diminishes.. Writing books definitely has its place, but so does brushing teeth, and ironing shirts.
Paraphrasing 2 Timothy 1:7. I heard the Lord say: “DiVoran, I have not given you a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and of love, and of a calm and well-balanced mind.” My answer:, “Okay, Lord I’ll slow down and receive it. Thanks.”