December is a month of reflection. Not only a time where we make more room for Jesus in our hearts and foster thankfulness, but it becomes a time where we look at our year and filter things through the lens of achievement – analyzing whether we reached our goals or not.
A couple of weeks ago I was ready to give up on this short play I had started writing. I work well with deadlines, but the inspiration just wasn’t flowing. There is a local playwright’s competition (for spring performances) and I had discovered a beautiful true love story this year that I thought would make a great script to share. I struggled, and always have, with building conflict into any story. Perhaps that’s indicative of my own life – I don’t like conflict!
Instead of giving up two weeks before the deadline, I decided to pray. One of those Lord, please help me prayers. I realized that in my creative life I had started a lot of things, and had numerous ideas, but quite often never ran with just one, because something new and shinier came a long that I wanted to try. I realize that I need to learn to excel at finishing what I start.
So one night after supper I prayed a simple prayer of, “Lord, please help me to become a finisher”, and blocked off a night to write. I told my roommate I wasn’t coming out of my room for a couple hours. Well, something changed that night. I realized that inspiration and creativity doesn’t just come because I think I’m a creative person, I have to make room for it – purposeful and intentional room. I wrote for longer than I said I would that night and got through the hump that led me last week to finish the script for the competition.
For me, it doesn’t even matter if it gets chosen for production, it’s the fact that I chose to finish what I had started. Now I’m not saying I don’t finish anything! Books, projects, relationships – yes, they are all something I invest in. But I have found a pattern in my creative life of not finishing.
Hebrews 12:1-3 says,“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven. Think about all He endured when sinful people did such terrible things to Him, so that you don’t become weary and give up.”
I know for me, I need to learn in 2013 to tune out distractions and run my race with endurance. As I start Grad school next fall (got accepted since last time I wrote! Woohoo!) this will be the mindset I will have to go in with – run this race with endurance and finish what I start.
We are equipped to be finishers. And as I realized lately, sometimes I just need to make more room for that to change in my life. What will you become more intentional about in 2013?