Friday, June 7, 2013

Living on Consecrated Time

Writing is hard.  Writing consistently is much harder.

I'm sitting between flights at O'Hare, feeling like a zombie after yesterday's stomach flu, but that's okay here -- most people look like zombies at airports.  I'll be better tomorrow, probably, and better still the day after that.

But my writing, and my writing habits, may not be better, unless I do something about it.

It's two days later, and I'm feeling almost myself again.  I've been thinking and praying over this for a while now.  Here's where things stand: I've had some success over the past several months with my writing, with three short articles published in a popular magazine; several papers and workshop presentations given (which often/eventually become articles or book chapters) and several more to come over the rest of this year; and ideas that continue to percolate in my fiction writing, which still comes in fits and starts but continues to be both fun and rewarding (aesthetically, if not yet financially).  And other good, sustaining things are happening, too, as the plans for the spiritual direction and retreat center that Karen and I call Lectio House are growing well.  But my blogging (obviously) and my literary journalling (trust me) are occasional at best, and everything I've tried this year to make more consistent time for more consistent writing has been, for all intents and purposes, a bust.

It's time for that last part to change.  At a particularly frustrated point a few weeks ago, I assessed all this, looked at my calendar, and admitted to myself that I wouldn't have any time to make effective changes until after our recent (local) move and a conference that followed shortly afterward.  So I picked today, June 7, as a day to start making the aforementioned effective changes.  A moment to question my own commitment to writing (and more broadly to study as a spiritual discipline; see my earlier posts on a rule of life).  A one-day reminder to myself that I am living on what we might call consecrated time.

Consecrated time.  Time set apart for a holy purpose.  Time to ask (often, and honestly) whether I'm doing the things well that God has made me to do.  Time to write, without neglecting my relationships or my responsibilities -- but without letting either of those things become idols, either.  Time to make the most of whatever time I have left on this earth, refusing to let that become more cliche than it already is.

Time to get started (all over again, "for reals," etc.).

Think I'm not serious?  (That's at least partly rhetorical.  And self-addressed.)  Then watch this space.  And watch me.  While you're at it, read Philippians 3:16-17.  (That's somewhat self-addressed, too.)

Time to get going.

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