The eagle waits at the edge of its nest for the winds of the storm to gain velocity. Once the storm is strong enough, it spreads its magnificent wings, and allows the storm to carry it where it wills.
By waiting for the wind to gain velocity before it flies, “it can run and not be weary, walk, and not be faint.” It wastes not an ounce of energy.
* * *
I think we can avoid much wasted effort if we do not act until the winds of the Spirit are strong, until we are sure we are flying with the wind of the Spirit, not without it, or, heaven forbid, against it.
And this is a learned skill.
I have been impulsive and impressionable for much of my life, and this does not make me rejoice. I look back on wasted efforts; projects committed to impulsively and later abandoned; or grimly seen through but without much fruit. Things done that came to nothing.
It is perhaps the story of many lives, but it does not have to be.
I have noticed the enormous difference even in small things– like deciding if and where to go on holiday, and what to do there—when I pray about it, and wait for guidance. It leaves me quite disinclined to commit to things, if I have not heard God’s guidance on whether I should be doing them. I now do not like to go through a weekend, or a vacation day without checking with God to see what ideas he may have for my day!
* * *
“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor and the enemy of the people,” Ann Lamott says. I have, for decades, allowed my writing life to be poisoned by the stress and sadness of perfectionism.
“What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects—with their Christianity latent,” C.S. Lewis wrote.
So, I am trying to lower the bar–which is the best way to write well.
Apart from “little books,”–and I have just finished one which is with editors–I am trying to discipline myself to write more “little blogs,” 400-500 words (rather than my normal 800-1200 word blogs)– a single thought, a single insight, a single blessing, slight perhaps. I will write these on the off-chance that what spoke to me might speak to others.
Christian bloggers can play a prophetic role if they record what they hear the Lord saying to them. For He might be saying the same thing to others too, and perhaps our little blog is one way in which he will speak to our readers. Perhaps. God willing!
BTW, your blog officially rocks! The whole subscription thing is sweet!! Thank you both for your hard work in moving this over to the new system!!
Anita Mathias says
Thanks so much for your encouragement, LA!
Harriet Ryan says
A perfectly timed and reassuringly helpful blog. Many thanks
Anita Mathias says
Harriet! Thank you for following my blog on Facebook, and visiting me here 🙂
One for the wish list….generally, when you read a post, you want to comment after you’ve read it, but there is no “leave a comment” link at the end, you have to scroll back up to the top. If Mr. Roy could add the link at the bottom, it would be awesome!
Overall, I like your WordPress better. I love how the comments remember my name and email from last time. I also love how I don’t lose all my comment work every time I go to another tab in safari to look something up. (Blogger kept reloading the comment page).
I like the fact that you will blog when the spirit moves you to…but I want to say that the 30 months you spent blogging each day was not wasted effort. It set up good habits. Good writing habits. Mr. Covey says that you have to do something for a while to develop good habits…and I know from experience that he’s right. But now that the habit is established, you can let go and allow a more natural rhythm to emerge. My one worry is that you will refrain from blogging when the spirit moves you…even if the spirit is moving you to write two entries a day.
And I personally like the longer, meatier format of your blog. I’ve moved from reading a variety down to you, the Beaker Folk (even though they won’t let me comment anymore without a troublesome login), and a few others that I check into less regularly. The meatier posts are vastly superior to my reading tastes then the simple one-trick-ponies other bloggers write. I think we have, in our culture, moved way too far into the sound byte world. Unable to hold our attention too long in one spot, we bounce from idea to idea without digging into the meat. I call it “sitcom syndrome” or “fast food thinking” where we expect everything to be solved in 30minutes minus commercials or get our information in a Big Mac time frame. I like how when I read your blogs you take the time necessary to build an idea…to formulate it slowly without rush. Like the difference between eating at MacDonalds or eating at La Scala. I savor each morsel of thought without rush…and am all the richer for it. Please don’t yield to any pressure to shorten your posts: they are the length they need to be to satisfy your writing style-and it is a style many appreciate, I’m sure.
I have a friend who is an incredible musician. She has a style all her own and really moves the people who appreciate her style. Her Joanie Mitchel-eske style is not for everyone and she laments constantly about not getting crowds at her recitals. But the following she does have is extraordinarily moved and filled with God by what she does. She feels like she needs to be all things to all people in order to get more butts-in-seats for her recitals but then her music is watered down with styles that she doesn’t “own” and she is no longer answering to her higher calling. As a friend once told me…”say what is in your heart…God has always placed someone out there who needs to hear exactly what you have to say”. Numbers aren’t the key…it’s reaching the people God has placed in your path to hear exactly what you have to say.
Hi LA, I think we have fixed that comment thingie. Thanks for pointing it out.
I really should read Covey’s book. I am sure I will love it.
Yes, I should make sure I do blog when the spirit is moving. Putting things off for later, or because they appear insignificant at first glance can lead to blogger’s block. Often, it appears insignificant because just the first or final thought in a sequence has popped into consciousness. As you writes, you realize why the idea was nudging you.
Thank you so much for your feedback on the length of the posts. It is true that I naturally think in 800-1200 words, and the recommended blog length is 500-800!
“As a friend once told me…”say what is in your heart…God has always placed someone out there who needs to hear exactly what you have to say”. Numbers aren’t the key…it’s reaching the people God has placed in your path to hear exactly what you have to say.” Wow, love that. Thanks for your encouragement!!
Debra Seiling says
Dear Anita, I especially liked this comment on your blog post, “I think we can avoid much wasted effort if we do not act until the winds of the Spirit are strong, until we are sure we are flying with the wind of the Spirit, not without it, or, heaven forbid, against it.” It give me lots to think about. I, too, like to ask God’s advice, but I’ven never thought about it in this way before.
Thanks for sharing all your recent decisions. As a fellow blogger, it was interesting to read the information about frequency of blogging and page views not being affected by not blogging daily and perfectionism. I can identify. I will sometimes go back to a blog post several times to update it and to make it even better.
I have one question. Will your blogs postings still come to my Blogger Dashboard or do I need to sign up again as a follower on the new blog site? Debbie Seiling http://bible-passages.blogspot.com and http://christian-overeaters.blogspot.com
Debra, thank you so much for reading and your comment.
I am afraid the new posts will not automatically show up on your blogger dashboard. I believe you will need to sign up for the RSS feed shown on the blog for that. Or perhaps like the Facebook page.
I dilly-dallied about the move because of the hassle to myself and my blog readers, but I think this theme offers more possibilities, and will look better (once I learn how to use it!!)