Have you ever been in love with an idea? Not something that has been fleshed out but just the vague idea of something. Like a cause that just feels right or some sort of gadget that you may not have a use for but seems cool? I guess a better question is, have you ever had a crush on someone? Someone you have met like a coworker, classmate, or friend of a friend? You have had casual conversations with this person but never talked about anything substantial, you know things about them like their passions and party anecdotes but haven’t gotten to know them, why they love what they love and hate what they hate. You are in love with this idea of them you have built up in your head but neglected to get to the know the actual person your idea of them is based on.
These past few months I have been working on and off on a story that follows several characters in their early to mid twenties as they are growing into adulthood. They all share traits and ideas I have had about life and through a series of events they come to learn some of the things that I have learned throughout the years. As I am writing these characters I am also growing. I am noticing things about who I was and understanding a cause and effect that I couldn’t have seen at the time. One of these characters, Mark, is in love with the idea of being a writer. He even tells people who ask him what he does for a living that he is a writer but lists his day job as what he does to support his lifestyle but he never actually writes anything. Not even the few story ideas he comes up with are committed to paper. He paints this image of himself that does not accurately reflect the one that he lives out. He just sits around hoping that one day inspiration will hit and he will be able to sit down and write the next great American novel in a single sitting. He, like me, was an idiot. While opening a notebook and putting pen to paper might not seem very difficult, forming a habit and creating a writing routine is. Writing on a regular basis is still something that I’m working on and that’s the key word here, work. Things are worked for and towards. It is something that many learn later in life but one of the most important lessons we will ever learn. We need to find our motivation, latch on to what drives us, and become more ambitious in our endeavors whether its in our hobbies, careers, or relationships.
Oddly enough halfway through writing this I stopped. For a week I wrote nothing and didn’t even open my notebook. The subject I had originally set out to write about kept changing and my frustration building until I no longer wanted to work on this. I thought that this would end up as another unpublished post that would take up space in my notebook and would never be seen again. Then I cam across this passage in Margaret Feinberg’s Wonderstruck that I would like to close with.
“Too many of us play and pray it safe. We allow our aspirations to stay in our heads, our goals to remain barely outside our grasp. Life become a series of unrealized hopes and dreams. Rather than engage in the fullness of life, we remain on the sidelines and pass up uncounted opportunities. Our fears become greater than the hope of the One who came to bring us abundant life.
What is keeping you on the sidelines of life? What have you convinced yourself is impossible with God? Where have you allowed your fear to replace your faith? What’s stopping you from moving forward? Or taking your first step toward change? Even if you stumble, you may find your dream expanding into something even more enchanting than you ever imagined.”
Its as if everything I was doing this week had built up to this one moment where I would read these words and know exactly what had been going on with me and what I had to do to remedy it. I needed to work at it and I needed to trust God. Its this simple reminder that keeps me going as I continue my journey through life.