Thinking, listening, observing, notetaking, reading, conversing and emptying oneself of long-formed preconceptions are the writer's comfort. A writer always writes whether staring at a blank page or watching nature from a park bench or unraveling the poet's pause or surviving those oft-constrained demands and interruptions life places on us all.
A writer's frame arrests everyone, but unlike everyone, the writer's thoughts surface and unspool onto the page, seeking coherency not primarily for the reader but for the writer. His carefully chosen words punctuate the end to all that came before, a catharsis for the interactions that well inside from all those experiences inciting the thinking, listening and observing.
I am always a writer. I always believe in God. I am not always Christian. Nothing tells me this more than my unconfessed sins, the ones of which I am aware and those yet to be revealed to me through God's love. Being Christian and being less within life's reoccurrences fashions a confusing coexistence, a rather problematic situation for my faith. But isn't this the whole of Christianity, to be tested not solely from without but also by failing within? Isn't the means by which we become fully Christian landscaped with all those experiences letting us know how far to go?
There must occur in every Christian's journey not just a bit of sacrifice, but much. No one wants to go there. The reality sacrifice presents is the one we don't like. Giving up this self as we know it is scary. But sacrifice is love, a love not so easily understood by unbelievers and not always achieved by believers.
Consider a garden. A good gardener knows that if flowers are to bloom and shrubs are to reach fullness and certain plants are to bear fruit, an ample amount of weed-pulling must be done, pruning branches along the way and remembering to fertilize. God's love is like this. First, we must see the weeds.
Pulling weeds is a cathartic aim. Such an activity finds its best days when the ground is soft with skies overcast and offering a cooling wind or sprinkle. Any seasoned weed-puller knows a good feeling is brief. Weeds find a way and their only true enemy is a persistent gardener. A Christian's life is no different.
In my journey, I find peace while praying in the morning and by afternoon I'm fussing about some perceived misdeed directed toward me by someone I don't like or understand. Those human weeds can sprout and grow through my forgetfulness that fails to carry God's insight and presence with me during the day. At my first opportunity, I reach too easily for the human response when just that morning God's way was so clear to me. My journey suffers me one more day.
One day I hope to "love the things of God more than the things of men" (from Mark 8:33).
Makes sense to me.
"Those who have ears to hear, let them hear" (Matthew 11:15, NKJV).
Deck Cheatham has been a golf professional for more than 40 years. He lives with his family in Dalton. Write to him at email@example.com.