No story today...Simply observations in delight.
I have spent the last several months preparing to write, reading books on writing, discussing ideas for writing, and beginning the mechanics of writing. Writing, writing, writing. I have little notebooks littering my purse, and a bigger journal that I grab when I know I will have a few minutes of time for my thoughts to ruminate. The notebooks are beginning to be filled with bits and pieces of my mind, scrawled as illegibly as they appear in my brain, matter not yet mature, not yet formed in it's entirety. My husband has already grown used to my mid-sentence interuptions to our conversations, or the sight of me climbing into to bed, only to climb right back out and scrawl another thought. "More ideas," he says, as if he is trying to understand this new animal that appeared in his wife's body. I have half written pieces sitting protected in my computer, not ready for consumption, and yet, I have begun to take ownership over the idea that I just might be, nay, I will say it strongly so my ears will hear, "I am a writer."
I am a woman who believes in purpose, and even more, I believe I was specifically designed by a loving God, on purpose, and for a purpose. As a young woman of 21, I was drawn to a movie called "Chariots of Fire." The film is based on a true story, and it's central character is an Olympic runner by the name of Eric Liddell. Called to the field of missionary work, Liddell also had a deep love of running, a passion that was coupled with the innate skill and discipline necessary for the sport. Liddel took delight in being all that God had designed him for, and in the movie he states, "I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast. When I run I feel His pleasure." I can still feel the way those words took my breath away the very first time I watched that movie, and heard the statement, "I feel His pleasure." That excitement, that anticipation, still wells up in my heart every time those words come to my mind.
I had no idea at 21 years of age where my life would take me. I was a young mother, newly married, and wrestling with how to be married. I certainly could not imagine what I was designed for, nor that I was truly designed for a purpose, or that a Creator cared enough to design me, specifically me, to be a pleasure to Him. I also lacked the understanding that I might be required to discipline my self to discover those skills and gifts that were uniquely mine, but I knew, even then, that I wanted to feel God's pleasure in my life. I wanted to be His creation.
Recently, I sat in a lovely cafe, the name of which translates roughly to the daily bread. I ordered tea and a brioche, and the young waitress brought me a pot of tea, a bowl, and a carrier filled with large jars of jam, and one of spreadable chocolate. Announcing my ignorance, I asked the obviously savvy server, if the bowl was for my tea. With a smile indicating she understood my naivete in the ways of tea bowls, she simply said yes. Feeling generous, I poured my cream into the bowl, filled it's depth with tea, and tore off a piece of brioche, to lavish it with chocolate spread. Something about drinking my tea from a bowl felt abundant, even spoiled and decadent.
I was there to write, but having somehow forgotten my trusty writer's notebook, I grabbed an advertisement from my purse, and began tucking my notes among the letters. A certain joy began to fill inside of me, a delight. I sat watching the drops of an earlier rain hanging from the wooden chairs on the patio outside my window. I breathed in the sweetness of a heaping bowl of tea. I enjoyed the pots of lavender glistening with moisture, and delighted in the realization that again God, was "making" me. I want to be His artwork, and to enjoy all of His creation. As I sat scrawling notes, thinking of the the life I have lived, I could not help but think of the verse in Song of Solomon, a book of poetry and passionate love, "He has brought me to His banqueting hall, and His banner over me is love." And so I scrawled it on my paper, my "Writer's Notes," and hoped to always know His pleasure, and to daily discipline myself with the commitment of a swift runner, to be what I was made for. This, is my daily bread.
Excerpt from "Chariots of Fire" (1981)
You came to see a race today. To see someone win. It happened to be me. But I want you to do more than just watch a race. I want you to take part in it. I want to compare faith to running in a race. It's hard. It requires concentration of will, energy of soul. You experience elation when the winner breaks the tape - especially if you've got a bet on it. But how long does that last? You go home. Maybe you're dinner's burnt. Maybe you haven't got a job. So who am I to say, "Believe, have faith," in the face of life's realities? I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, "Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me." If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race.