Tuesday, January 26, 2010

waiting, patience, and compost

What do these three things have to do with my relationship with my Lord and Savior and with my writing?

1. Waiting

Every day I pray, and every day I wait to hear/find/be sent an answer to those prayers. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no, sometimes . . . wait.

Psalm 130:5 "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope."

In my writing, I may be busily typing away, and yet waiting inside for that moment when the words fall into a rhythm with my thoughts.
In the process of submissions, I find myself waiting for responses, and I try to fill those voids with writing, prayer, and positive encouragement.

2. Patience

Obviously waiting requires patience, and yet patience sometimes is needed even in those moments when I don't think I'm waiting. I need patience when I find myself brimming with emotion, especially if that emotion is anger. Each action I take, each word I speak reflects the state of my soul at that moment. Each action, and each word affects not only the people around me, but also my relationship with God. Yes, He is amazing and full of grace, but out of my forgiven freedom I have the honor to walk free and be loving. When I lack patience, I have fallen back into my old sinful self.

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." Ephesians 4:2

In my writing life, my patience is tested when I find myself wandering from my plot, following around minor characters, or just not seeming to move my story forward, caught in characterization exercises in the midst of a story. However, if I patiently wade through these parts of my writing, I am often rewarded with richer characters, and a more character-driven plot.

3. Compost

This morning I received a devotional from Upper Room about compost. I skimmed it, and agreed with it, but I wanted to relate it more to my own experiences both with real compost and the compost that seems to clutter my spiritual and writing life.

Compost piles are smelly, warm, full of worms, sometimes slugs, beetles, spiders, rotting vegetation and dirt. If I had to pick up any of that stuff in my bare hands, I would choose dirt and worms because neither has ever bothered me.

However, if I think about it, the best worms, and the best dirt can be found only in a compost pile.

So, what does that mean for my spiritual relationship with God? Sometimes it seems my greatest failings, once fermented in and covered by God's love and grace, turn out to be my richest and most rewarding spiritual lessons. They are also the best soil for those times when I am actually asked by someone to share my faith.

In my writing life, sometimes my worst ideas become my best ones after a long time. Sometimes the stuff that I don't like gets churned around in my imagination, mixed with some good but overly ripe ideas and turned into something new and promising, like rich soil ready for planting or in this case, writing.

So, I'm trying to wait, with patience, for my compost to turn into rich, wormy soil.


Emily Ann Benedict said...

Amen! So well put. I have to agree, some times the things we think are the worst seem to turn into the best.
The manuscript that I told myself was terrible ended up being the one published. You never can tell.
Thanks for following!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Emily, thank you!