I need something to write by. Nothing fluffy or patently inspirational will do, nor will sideways truth. Here are my uncheery reasons to give it a go.
1. I may not succeed on the first try, but I cannot succeed without a first try.
On Monday, a friend referenced a book — something to do with a one-week startup, perhaps like this story by Justin McGill. His takeaway was simple: just try it. If you have an idea, go for it. Overthinking won’t make your outcome better. Delaying to “research” won’t preclude pitfalls. Problems will arise, but you can’t expect to expect them all.
This is wisdom, I think. So I’ll pray, and give it a go.
I’m still inclined to delay. A history of failure, bolstered by mental illness, handicaps my hope. Nervous “what ifs” pull at me. But I’ve indulged them too long. In his blog, Michael Hyatt mentions the law of diminishing intent: the longer you wait to take action, the less likely you are to take it. Procrastination kills energy, but positive action fuels it.
This is wisdom again, I think. So I’ll pray, and channel that energy, and write.
2. My contributions may be small, but small is better than none at all.
College reunions (and Facebook?) are a heady reminder that I’ve done little with my life. No book deals, no speaking engagements, and only-just-now a full time job. A spectacular amount of time has been spent nurturing other people’s children. Even more has been exhausted on coddling my self-worth, discovering myself, and determining I’m not a one-path person.
In You’ve Got Mail, in a moment of vulnerable reflection, the leading lady says this:
“Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life – well, valuable, but small – and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave?”
Small lives are valuable. Small contributions are valuable. Simply sitting and smiling at someone you love, or someone who needs love, evokes deep humanity–and I’ll get to that in a moment. But don’t want smallness to constrain me because I fear bigness. A finished book. An engaging blog. An audience of more than twelve.
This again is wisdom: nurture the small things without worrying they’ll grow too large.
3. The little things done to help humans be human are worth it.
In my first semester of teaching, I assigned Tyranny of the Urgent. The 6-page essay is an aid, if applied. (Isn’t application the challenge?) It reminds me that life’s chaos is a problem of prioritization. It reminds me that the solution is in the life of Christ, who busily took time away to pray and priories, even when a friend was dying. Even when a friend was dead.
So many “urgencies” are tiny acts of self-stroking nonsense. The real urgency, the real importance, may be a little thing. It may be the thing delayed in doing.
Pray. Pray first, then…
Write. Call grandma. Walk, and discover your steps varied so you could stop a fight. Help a human be human; help him to be in position to honor and know God.