Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Sharpening Pencils

Fall is a time that makes me want to sharpen pencils. Perhaps it's the
ingrained rhythm of back-to-school, but each September I'm driven by a
strange compulsion to clean closets, organize my desk, and buy new
office supplies.

Writers often develop rituals of preparing to write. In all honesty,
sometimes we're just avoiding the hard, hard work of putting words to
paper. So we make sure the house is tidy, throw in a load of laundry,
defrost the freezer, sort coupons, clean out computer files, buy a new
day-planner, and sharpen those pencils.

There's a deep-seated belief that if we can get our environment
perfect, the words will flow. Truthfully, we're stalling.

Today I read Romans 5:6, "You see, at just the right time, when we
were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly."

It made me realize I take the same approach to my relationship with
God. I want to get my act together. Get organized and tidy before I
spend time with Him. The truth is, I'm a sinful human mess in my very
nature--forgiven, holy and precious only because of Christ's great
love. He didn't wait for me to get organized and sharpen my pencils.
He came into my life when my soul's laundry was dirty and my heart's
desk was piled high with unfinished projects.

Since Christ came into my messy life, I want to follow His example. I
want to serve a messy world. I want to grab a few minutes to write the
books He's called me to write, even when the circumstances aren't
ideal. Sure, I'd rather have hours of interrupted time at a tidy desk
with an alert mind and stacks of sharp pencils lined up at hand. But
if I have twenty minutes with a muddy brain and that's all I
have--I'll use it to give the best I can.

Have you been waiting for circumstances to line up and conditions to
be perfect to serve God? I'm all for tidying and organizing life (and
desks) when we can. But sometimes life just won't clean up for us. So
let's learn to serve God in the midst of the mess, too.

Sharon Hinck


Lyn C said...

Why do we often still do that as Christians? Sometimes, I find myself halfway through my day and I haven't picked up my Bible. Then I feel completely useless and think, "why does God even bother with me, I'm pathetic. I can't even remember to read His love letter to me before I do anything else."

Sharon Hinck said...

Hi, Lyn! Thanks for commenting.
When I'm in one of those moments of self-condemnation, I love to remember the verse in Romans, "There is therefore now NO condemnation..." How wonderful that we have a heavenly Father who loves us completely... even when we're feeling like we've messed up. :-)