There are days I feel like a flutterer. I flicker to the latest great idea until another one blows in on the wind. I dart from one idea to another, but I don’t, I can’t, seem to settle anywhere. Oh, that job sounds okay. Maybe I should be working. Take more classes? Teach? How about an MFA, Master of Fine Arts in writing.
How about this? What about that? I’m making it up as I go along waiting for something to break through the uncertainty so I’ll finally know what I should be doing. I wonder if I’m the doubter mentioned in James 1 who is like a wave in the sea blown and tossed about by the wind.
But it’s not doubt that raises my angst levels and sends me flitting. It’s the not knowing. Merriam-Webster defines “know” as – to be aware of the truth or factuality of: be convinced or certain of.
The disciples, four of whom where professional fishermen, were in a boat when a storm came up on the Sea of Galilee. The small lake is known for its sudden, severe storms due to its low-lying position in the Great Rift Valley. The men were distracted by the strong wind and violent waves crashing into the boat. It must have been quite a storm to upset men who make their living on the lake.
Jesus, asleep in the back of the boat, was awakened with frightened cries for help. “Master, save us! We’re going down!” The Creator was in the boat with them but they didn’t recognize him for who he was. They didn’t know him.
My heart’s cry is to recognize him for who he is, to be still in his presence and saturated in his peace. I asked him to do a work in me that would erase doubts and help me avoid distractions so that I know that I know – him and his direction. I prayed that the other day. I poured out my heart to Jesus in my journal. Surely, I wrote him, there is a way to really know. I spend a lot of energy wondering and trying to hear you, I reminded him.
There were no immediate lightning bolts of understanding. No neon lights blinking in the sky. Prayers are planted and I try my best not to dig them up. Sometimes I’m successful. Life continued.
Over time, a scene from high school worked its way to the surface. It was me handing my English teacher a short story. I want to be a writer I told her. I want to be a writer.
Then college – I chose to submit the short story instead of doing the research paper. It was a risk since I knew I would earn an A for the paper.
More memories: the novel I started when my children were finally all in school, the plays and skits and stories that burst forth after I emerged from the dark tunnel of depression due to financial and family issues, the writing night after night of my first complete novel, the Dave Barry-esque essays, all the devotions, the course papers Regent University asked to keep on file to show people the quality of writing at the university, the Master level fiction course I was allowed to take without a Bachelors…
Oh you of little faith. Why do you let the wind and the waves distract you?