Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Resolved: To Finish That Book!

 by Linore Rose Burkard

       I sometimes move from Point A to Point B in ways my kids don't appreciate or agree with. Bear with me, and I'll show what this has to do with writing and procrastination. 

         We were discussing the preoccupation with zombies  ("The Walking Dead," Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, The Night of the Living Dead franchise, and so on). While this may seem silly to Christians, I told my kids the obsession with zombie-ism is actually a deep-down acknowledgment in the heart of man that

1: We are made to live forever; and  2. We really ARE zombies--dead men walking--apart from regeneration in Christ.
 The fascination with zombie-ism is an attempt to deny the REAL facets of an afterlife such as hell and darkness and separation from a holy God. So in a way, zombie-ism is reasonable--It feels reasonable, that is, because the heart knows it is dead, but persisting in existence. Zombie-ism is  popular because it acknowledges "an" afterlife while denying judgment and the real afterlife. 
          "No, mom, that's not it," my daughter insisted. "It's just--for fun. People like to be scared and zombies are scary."
         I agreed that they're scary--"The moreso because they're real! Dead men walking all around us, heading to hell."
         We agreed to disagree. I switched topics. "You know why people love super-heroes?" She waited, wondering where I was heading.  
         "Because the super-hero is god-like, all powerful, does good and saves the day--but without judgment. There's no super-hero worth his salt who will condemn you for being gay, pro-choice, or anti-God. In fact, they won't condemn you for doing anything that is contrary to scripture but SOCIALLY acceptable. They'll stop the bad guy who's a thief, because theft is not socially or politically correct. But try and find Superman when a clerk doesn't issue a marriage license to a gay couple and he's nowhere to be found."  
          My daughter shook her head at me.  "You don't get it, Mom. Super-heroes are just--fun!"
          "Of course they are! God without rules!" 
          Now, what has this got to do with writers and writing?
          Nothing. Not directly. But I'll take you from Point A to Point B on a writing topic, and I'm just as sure the points connect here as I was about zombies and super-heroes. It has to do with why writers waste time. (Actually, it pertains to anyone who meanders their time and energies into anything that isn't part of their God-given calling.) I'm not talking about having multiple interests and hobbies as evil. I'm talking about avoiding the real thing you are called to do and filling it with other stuff. When you do that, you are putting off your holy calling. It is procrastination at its worst.  As an expert at the art, I can say with conviction that:  
     Procrastination, in these cases, is a denial of mortality.
            (I can hear my daughter: "No, Mom, that isn't it!") But it is. It is other things as well, (fear, reluctance, laziness, perhaps) but it is also a denial of mortality. Why? Because when I procrastinate,  it's like saying,  "I have time. I'll get to it. Later. I will, I know it." 
       How do I know? I DON'T. I just like to believe I do. I don't want to acknowledge that time is precious, that I have none, really, to waste.
        Procrastination denies that we are a like a flower--blooming today, gone tomorrow. In reality, all we ever know for certain is that we have now.
         Johnathan Edwards, that incredibly effective 19th century preacher, wrote this:
                    "Resolved, never to do anything which I would be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life." 
Edwards was acutely aware that we'll give account of how we spend our currency of time, and that it is terribly, terribly, finite.
      It is a high and lofty attainment, perhaps, to live as Edwards did. To resolve to never fritter away the hours we are given in anything less than our holy "assignments."  (This doesn't mean we work ourselves to death. Rest is also a God-given assignment!)
          But it is something to strive for.  When I procrastinate as a writer, I deny the reality of my mortality. But since death is real, and coming, let us "press on to the high calling" given us in Christ. Let us not do anything we'd be afraid to do if it were the last hour of our lives.
         Has God called you to write a particular something? A book, perhaps? Say with me: "Resolved: To finish that book!" 
         You may need to resolve to do something else according to your calling. Talk to a child. Reconcile with a relative. Whatever it is, let me encourage you to do it. At least, to begin. To work towards it. Today!

   Linore Rose Burkard is a great procrastinator. But somehow she manages to write historical romance, and, as L.R. Burkard, YA Suspense. When not writing, Linore is a homeschooling mom, wanna-be homesteader, and (in case you haven't noticed) an endless re-writer of her bio. 
          Newest Fiction: PULSE
What if everything you depend upon--transportation, grocery shopping, the internet, cell phones--came to a sudden, crashing halt?
Three teenagers and their families must survive when America's worst nightmare occurs; the failure of the electric grid due to an electromagnetic pulse...(Read More..).
                              ....Has the world collapsed forever?
                                Who will survive when technology fails? 


Donna Shepherd said...

Wow. I have never thought of procrastination like that and I must say, "Ouch!" That's a powerful message. Thank you for speaking your heart and speaking to mine today.

Linore Burkard said...

Thank you, Donna. I've had to give this subject lots of thought since I've spent more than my fair share of time avoiding my most important work! (Although, prayer is arguably our most important work. And how often do we avoid or hurry that?)

chappydebbie said...

I love this! Now, stop procrastinating and finish another book! ;-)
Hugs and God bless, my friend.

Linore Burkard said...

That's the idea, Chappy. (I'm working on it. Really!)