Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Art of Discipline

I jumped back into a new exercise routine about two and a half weeks ago. Today as I type my arms and back are that "good kind of sore" that comes from a great workout. I've always had a love-hate rleationship with exercise. I know that I should do it, and feel good when I do, but for some reason the mental block of actually doing it can be problematic for me.

But a few weeks ago while I was sitting in church, I realized that God was after something bigger than just me "working out". There is something about following a program, and being consistent, that speaks more of my spiritual need than my physical need. I, like most people in America, want things fast. I'm not always good at persevering - waiting - and working hard and long for a distant goal. I give up sometimes, thinking that I'll never get to the end of the road, so I just stop walking the road.

While there are a lot of emotions tied up in it, the truth is that it's hard to work hard for something. And just as few can watch an inward transformation, only God is really aware of the sacrifices we're making.

And this all relates directly to writing as well. I've been so tempted to just give up on my screenplay the last few days. It's not working and even as I typed a scene the other day I kept thinking "unmotivated!" - my character doesn't have the motivation to do what I make her do. And to fix it I kind of need to start over - and that thought exhausts me.

I wonder, what's the point?

It's probably not going to matter anyway.

My chances of winning the contest are practically non-existant.

Why work so hard for nothing?

And yet, there's something in my spirit that hears God's call in it. And it may have nothing at all to do with the actual screenplay or the contest but may be about me - and whether I am willing to discipline myself and do something hard, simply because it's the road God has asked me to walk.

I keep thinking I should just write another novel - stick with what's - comfortable. And there's that word and the very reason I probably shouldn't give up. Stepping out of our comfort zone is always a challenge.

If what God asked us to do was easy, then it probably wasn't God. He always asks us to do the very things we cannot do on our own - simply so that we will lean on Him all the more.

So I'm off to do a little more leaning, and hopefully, a lot more writing. I certainly hope He knows how to fix my mess of a screenplay.