DISCLAIMER: The author humbly apologizes for the following blog and the stream of mixed metaphors, seemingly unrelated, to which the reader will be subjected.
I’m on deadline!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I like a good deadline. It’s a boundary. Helps me to keep a calendar schedule down to earth, and can be useful for planning and goal setting. Writers work with deadlines all the time. I am currently functioning this month with four deadlines for four different projects (hence the leaning towards mixed metaphors in the aforementioned disclaimer).
Currently, I should be working on one of my projects to make my deadline which looms only hours away. As you can see – I’m blogging instead. Perhaps clearing the creative decks so I can be more fruitful in my pursuit of the deadline’s finishline. Taking some valuable time to breathe, ere my deadlines become deadly – system overload on the horizon.
IN WHICH THE WRITER PAUSES, AMID CONCRETE CRACKS AND POTHOLES, AT A REST STOP REMEMBERING . . .
|Photo by Connie Stowman|
Time is a wearying taskmaster. With each tick and tock of my regulator clock hanging over the mantle of my fireplace in the dining room, I am painfully aware of the encroaching darkness of deadline that crowds out the light of inspiration and ability to accomplish the tasks set before me. I question the road I am traveling and the direction I follow. My husband vilifies the evil of multi-tasking. I daydream about leisure moments and guilty pleasures, tea socials, boardwalk strolls, and adirondak chairs on front porches.
None of this helps me in my moment of great need.
Did I say, “moment”? How about the past few weeks. It’s not like I haven’t known of my deadlines. But, for the cracks and potholes in the road, I should have made the journey adequately. And, I’m not saying that I haven’t been as conscientious as possible in my time management. I’ve strived to function as alert and responsible as humanly possible – within a neat and tidy scripted box, of course. So, what is one to do when best laid plans are attacked by the fiendish “unexpected plot twists”?
Am I in the process of failing as I look ahead to the myriad of things on my plate over the next six weeks – let alone over the next 48 hours? New decisions to make – some painful, fearful, perhaps risky. Choices crowding my in-box beckoning for attention in the subject line – often confusing. In my impotent finite wisdom – if wisdom can truly be wisdom in a finite condition – I am tempted to run headlong into fear and anxiety. Perhaps, even spiral into shut-down mode. Sort of like a computer freeze – worse – a computer crash.
The answer – and I am happy to inform you that there IS an answer – to my dilemna is the “power in the pause” to defray the “vulnerablity of incapability”.
I PAUSE and THINK ON THESE THINGS . . .
Potholes in pathways happen. They draw our attention downward. We nurse our twisted ankle turned as we tripped, and bemoan the irritation of what appears to be unkempt roadways. Somebody else’s fault. Someone else’s failure getting in our way. Forcing our list of things to do and when to do them into a rescheduling nightmare. Script re-writes and re-adjustments – perhaps even appointment cancellations as sacrifices must be made to accommodate the new scene interjected by unexpected potholes along the way.
In my pause, I look up. Blue skies, shining on me! Shining even on the cracks and potholes in the road! Wouldn’t be able to see that if I focused only on the rough road I’m traveling.
|Photo by Connie Stowman.|
Remember the impotence of my finite wisdom mentioned above? Contrast that with the INFINITE WISDOM of the Master Scriptwriter – you know – that Blue Sky Fellow who always knows which cracks or potholes are coming up in each scene . . . in each act . . . deadlines notwithstanding.
And, this is my peace. The Director of the Show saw every production pothole before it was even a crack in the concrete. He purposes me forward with the stage direction: cross down center. He controls the technical details and keeps me in the spotlight so I can find my way – across the stage, through the scene, down the road, and, on the calendar. Do I have the faith in HIS Direction to take my place in the midst of the potholes – confident in HIS ability to turn DEADLINES into LIFELINES?
So, here I pause at a rest stop. Breathe in . . . breathe out. A little contemplative poem I wrote some twenty years ago squeezes through all the words to write and production details jostling for my undivided attention. Funny, how when I happened upon the poem the other day, tripping over it in all my busy, I thought that someday – down the road – I might want to share it.
Presently, I should be writing a play for second and third grade students eagerly awaiting their scripts first thing Monday morning. Instead, I take a moment to set aside all the re-writing, re-scheduling, and re-adjusting I’ve had to do this week placing me in this deadline bind, and remember a Lifeline Lesson I learned many years ago. Isn’t God good to always give us opportunities to exercise those lessons learned?
Breathing is good. Especially when we take the time to allow God to breathe in us His intelligence, inspiration, wisdom, and direction for our next step in script blocking on the stage upon which He has placed us. After all, so long as we’re in His show, success is assured.
And, potholes – or, as in my poem, cracks in concrete – are nothing to panic about. Not when there are Blue Skies shining above ground, and Light piercing the darkness. He makes the crooked way straight and the rough paths smooth – He’s got all the script changes in hand and under control. Through the cracks in the path, and the pothole traps, God’s ultimate plan for me and my list of things to do today is that, no matter the threat of Deadlines, I cling to His Lifeline, moving forward, and in so doing, I will cross the Finishline . . . changed. Standing ovations to follow.