My wife says I’m stale.
OK, usually when she says that it’s because I’ve chosen to wear yesterday’s shirt to putter around the house. And said shirt may or may not be the same yesterday’s shirt I wore yesterday to putter around the house. (Men, you understand, right?)
This time she isn’t telling me I smell like a musty squirrel. She is referring to my writing.
That arrow struck close to the heart.
But… she is right. I keep writing the same stuff. Like a needle stuck on an album groove. Like deja vu all over again. While Deja Vu is a fine Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young album, I do not care to hear it over and over, ad nauseum.
The time has come to mix it up a bit.
You see, life isn’t really compartmentalized. We break it down into boxes for easy transport and unpacking. We have our home lives, our work lives, our faith lives, our hobby lives, our family lives… But, really, isn’t it all just life?
Life is meant be a holistic experience. In reality, that is exactly what it is. The good, the bad, the ugly. Everything in our lives informs and intersects and infects everything else. The choices we make, the actions we take, the thoughts we entertain, the words we express, the knowledge we employ, the impressions we leave, the beliefs we hold dear, the people we connect with… all of these aspects of life co-exist and comingle into a cohesive, comprehensive life.
It only makes sense that, if I am going to write, the approach to my words should be holistic as well. My faith informs my worldview, as do your beliefs in your life. What I see, what I experience and witness and hear… all these things come into play.
I have been overly myopic in my writing.
I have been overly myopic in my life.
My writing needs to reflect an adventurous spirit. Faith in Christ is not boring. It’s not some staid set of religious rules and regs to follow with rigidity. True faith is expressed in action, in what we do and why.
God created all of life, and He allows us to enjoy His creation. For that, we should be most thankful.
And He created us to live life as a holistic experience. And, the more we experience, the better we relate with others – the stronger our ability to empathize, to understand, to love.
So I am expanding my repertoire. If I eat at a great restaurant, I’m going to tell you about it. If I read a great book, I’m going to pass that along (like Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, an emotionally tough yet spiritually rewarding read). If I know someone is hurting, I’m going to reach out.
I will still write devotionals. My heart hasn’t changed about helping people overcome anxiety and depression. But if I can inspire people to lighten up and enjoy life, that also helps lift the dark clouds that descend over our lives.
So it’s time to break the Groundhog Day Syndrome. Sometimes I’ll write humor. Sometimes I’ll write on theology. Sometimes I’ll write about Indiana and the things that make me homesick. Always I will take a holistic approach. Always my faith will be at the center, even if it doesn’t appear so overtly.
Just the thought of breaking out into unchartered territory with my writing is giving me goose bumps. I pray that I can write in a way that gives you goose bumps as well.
For now, I’d better go change this shirt.