Swim toward the Light, Follow the Fun…and write!

7 Oct

Have you ever been praying about clarity, about discerning God’s will for you in a certain arena of your life, and felt like you’re not getting an answer?

I have been mulling over a decision about my writing — Specifically, deciding what to write about.

I’ve been praying for focus, for answers. I’ve had fits and starts and a bazillion first chapters, but I just can’t seem to hit my groove. 

I’ve joined a writing group — Hope*Writers — for accountability, guidance and inspiration. One of my first “nuggets’ of wisdom came from H*W founder Emily P Freeman: when writing, follow the fun. OK. Two of the myriad ideas currently fit that description.

I joined a smaller group of H*W women to pray weekly about our writing and encourage one another. After listing out my numerous book ideas to the facilitator of the group, out of all those ideas she chose one of those two “fun” ones.

Really? Lord? Surely, You haven’t brought me through the fire and given me first-hand experience in all these heavy topics so that I could write something FUN!? I’m in a writers’ group now. This is serious!

During one of my swim workouts this week I was again praying for clarity, to be able to see His vision for my life, my next steps in writing.

As I prayed, I began to notice the sunlight pattern on the bottom of the pool. Ethereal, it’s like a prism-thread fishing net, splayed out and shimmering gloriously across the cool depths. I then noticed that I could only see it when I was swimming in one direction. Curious! When I turned back to swim the other way, it was just a pool bottom. No glimmering light.

As it turned out, when I was swimming the eastward lap, toward the morning sun, I could clearly see this gorgeous tapestry. Westward, though, away from the sun, I was throwing shade on that light. I was out in front of the light. I was in the way.

Oh. Wait. Is there some kind of metaphor thing happening here?

The “God is light” analogy is one that has always spoken to me: His illuminating nature, how even the darkness is not dark to Him, how if feels to have the sun on our face, to walk in the sunlight, to really see. All good stuff!

And of course, therein lies the lesson: when I get out in front of God, setting out on my own path, as if I’m in charge of the trip, I can’t always see His will for me, nor hear His communications, nor discern His direction because I am casting a shadow over His indicators. I’m pretty sure He said, “Follow Me,” — not “Hey, wait up!” (Yep, checking scripture. No “Hey, wait up” passages)

So, Lord, I asked, what am I overlooking because I’m between your light and my path? What am I missing or ignoring because my back is to you and I’m trying to lead? I reflected on the fun-following directive and feedback from my H*W colleague. Maybe it’s time for that project? But then I started to get in the way again, reasoning, it’s Covid-time, we’re still semi-quarantining, the friend who I would work on this project with has a new job, is busy, has probably forgotten about it….and so on.

And then, a few hours later, she popped up in my Facebook messages. She’s ready to work on this project. 

Face toward the sun, I replied immediately in the affirmative.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

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