This weekend saw me back at the house, after having to give up my last weekend due to hay hauling. Of the many things that I was asked to do, one of the most simplest tasks was to water the front flower beds. Sounds pretty simple right? Just like all things however, more was required than just spraying the flowers that were planted in the ground. We also have two hanging baskets, and two pots with herbs growing in them sitting on the front porch. Turns out when I was watering, I forgot the hanging baskets as well as the pots. Oops! Hopefully we’ll be able to save the plants.
Thinking about that this morning gave me some new insight regarding my faith, and the current dry spell I find myself in. Faith is like a flowering plant, if you don’t tend to it on a regular basis and give it plenty of water, it can shrivel and die. I have been struggling lately with keeping my spiritual life active and engaged. I didn’t mean to grow stagnant, but somehow I started practicing less. Morning and evening prayers just became a quick “Lord have mercy” instead of the actual prayers. My desire to write and express my faith and share my stories was placed on the backburner, as I allowed myself to just focus on the nitty gritty aspects of my life.
My day job got more intense as it spilled into my weekends, stealing precious time away from my family. And when I was finally given my weekends back, there was a backlog of chores to be done in every single room, not to mention all of the outside projects that still need my attention. I simply didn’t have enough time. Sure, I wanted to write, and a few sparks of inspiration would flash in front of my eyes every now and then. But without proper kindling, those sparks quickly faded and my inner fire remained unlit.
It’s been an interesting situation, this drought of creativity. Last month I went to an exciting and overwhelming conference held in Pennsylvania. Other writers, bloggers and podcasters who share the Orthodox Christian faith were in attendance. So much creative inspiration and information to absorb, I really thought that when I got home I would just burst with new content. However, what I experienced was the complete opposite. After absorbing so much information, my creative processes just couldn’t handle it, and my creativity stopped flowing. Then of course my work life took up most of my time and when I was finally given some free time, other projects demanded my attention.
A friend from Facebook explained it like this:
‘I think that for some people, a big rush of energy is like a flood in a stream. You have to let it settle and allow the water to clear in order to get to the next phase of introspection and insight to fuel creative writing. There’s a difference between the creative writing that relies heavily on the inward turn and the content creation that is by schedule. They can both be deeply insightful. I think part of deep listening is giving oneself the space to wait -literally *wait*- on the Lord.”
I talked a little about this in my last post. About how I was stuck and needed help getting back on track. This was a clear instance of practicing what you preach. I was talking about how you needed ask God for help and yet that’s not something I did. And so this morning when I asked myself why I was continuing to struggle especially in regards to creating new content, the answer I received in my heart was “because you haven’t asked ME for help.”
That answer had me like “Alright God, 10-4. I hear you loud and clear.” I was allowing my faith to wilter, because I was not watering it. I was not feeding my soul the spiritual food that it requires in order to grow. I allowed excuses and the trivial non important daily minutiae of life to distract me from what is really important: engaging in my relationship with Christ and allowing my life to be transformed by him. Lord have mercy as I try to get back on track.
Please keep this unworthy trucker in your prayers. Hopefully the drought is over and more creative content will soon be on its way.
Really hope I didn’t kill the flowers!