I don’t like walls; well, not all walls, just the ones that block my path and prevent me from going forward. What I don’t like about it is that I can’t see my way around it. My typical response to hitting a wall is to take nap and come back at it later. Sometimes the wall I think is there is just life telling me I’m getting older. I don’t like that wall, but I’m learning to navigate my way through this aging thing without getting too discouraged.
When I get up from my nap and the wall is still there I try to figure out what is blocking my path. Why can’t I move forward. Sometimes it’s because I am overwhelmed with life. Sometimes it is because I’m frustrated with the work. Sometimes it’s because I need to get out of my head and into life. Getting out of my head used to easier. I’ve had a few physical set backs over the last three years. And coming back isn’t as easy as it once was. I’m finding the physical struggle to be emotionally exhausting. There are other emotional walls that block me from time to time. I don’t know if other people see their blockages like walls but I do.
Getting older means coming to terms with the fact that you can’t do what you once could. That in and of itself isn’t so bad. I don’t have the ambition to do a lot of that stuff anyway. But being unable to do simple tasks because of physical limitations is extremely frustrating. I hate it. I hate not being able to do the things I want to do. I get winded easy. I’ve put on more weight and that doesn’t help. And the problem with physical set backs is that they create a domino effect. And frankly I got dog piled and climbing out is not easy. I am doing what I can. It’s incremental. I hate incremental. I want to be more like the Koolaid® kid crashing through the wall.
If I could just see my way through I’d feel better. Walls challenge me to get on the other side. And over the years I’ve made some grave mistakes breaking through the walls that block my path. I’ve learned that sometimes the wall can be God’s way of letting me know I’m headed down a path He doesn’t intend. Such is the case here. I got sidetracked and as a result a wall went up blocking my way. Once I took my nap, readjusted my focus and went to the Lord in prayer I discovered that the wall was God’s doing.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a few blogs on spiritual abuse. While there wasn’t anything inherently wrong with writing those blogs the subject sidetracked me from my focus. Getting sidetracked isn’t the end of the world. When I get sidetracked I simple stop and get back on the track I know I’m supposed to be on. Here’s where things went wrong for me and why the wall was erected.
The subject of spiritual abuse is a big issue. I hate the implications on every level. Being a former victim of spiritual abuse I get pretty upset just at the thought of it. I’m not going to go into all the grubby details of my experience. It isn’t necessary. I dealt with the issue and I don’t live under those circumstances anymore. I haven’t for a long time. But being that it is a hot topic for me I got pulled into the subject. And getting pulled into the subject took me off the work the Lord has commissioned me to accomplish. What I realized was that I was getting more and more crabby. Each day the irritation was just a bit more than the day before. And I felt stressed in a way I haven’t been for a long time.
Breaking through the wall for me has been realizing that I stepped out from under that grace God has given me at this time. What that means in simple terms is that I am not called, or commissioned by the Holy Spirit to address the issues of dysfunction and abuse. Qualified or not, God has a different path for me to take. And if I am going to remain on God’s path for my life I have to stay on the path He has for me. And right now that is to stay focused on the book He has commissioned me to write.
So here’s an update on my book progress. I have reached a milestone in the preparation process. I am giving myself a pat on the back. One of the books I have been reading is Douglas Stuart’s Old Testament Exegesis 4th ed. Kindle Edition. I am finished with reading it. I have taken notes along the way. And as I progressed through the detailed info I came to a realization. I’m already doing most of what the author calls for. One thing I know about writing is that you can only write to the level of your expertise. I am not a scholar. I don’t intend to become one. But I am a serious and thorough researcher when it comes to studying the word of God. I might not have certain expertise but I do have some. What I didn’t have was the format.
I am coming to a similar conclusion while going through Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses and Dissertations 9th ed. Like I said, I am not a scholar. I am not actually applying for a doctorate. I’m not in any kind of graduate school program. What I am looking for is a scholarly format to follow. And these two books are affording me that information.
BACK ON TRACK
I have made great strides since the beginning of the year. What I am finding is that while I may not have a Master’s Degree in Theological Studies, or an English Major I am not unknowledgeable. And I feel pretty good about that. So, getting back on track feels pretty good. To wrap up my progress so far, I have my subject pretty well-defined. I have a working thesis statement. I have the necessary research material needed to accomplish the task. And I have a renewed focus for going forward. So far so good. It’s been 2 months and 22 days since the start of this year.
I think I’ve done pretty good so far. I’m actually further along than I expected to be by now. I have a storyboard in the works to facilitate the process going forward. I have a ton of questions that I will begin to answer. And while the chances of anyone ever reading this blog are slim to none, that’s okay. I’m going to keep plodding along. I am going to keep recording my progress. And I fully expect to have a first draft ready by the end of this year.
Thanks for listening.