“The author, George Moore, in replying to a question of a young woman on how to go about the business of becoming a writer, suggested to her that she buy a table and a chair, and get a pad of paper and a pen, and then be there. When the muse comes to dine with you, you have to be at home. Being present is a first condition of hospitality. But unless you want terribly to write, you will not be at the table. A thousand legitimate reasons will appear that will call you elsewhere, and anyone who has ever written knows how insistent these calls away from home, these calls from the table, can be. So it is with prayer.” (Steere, Douglas V. Dimensions of Prayer. New York: Women’s Division of Christian Service, 1962, p. 23-24.)
How do you become a writer? By doing what I am aiming to do here and now. Show up. Sit down. Stay put. Listen. Watch for the creative Guest. Don’t fail to be present when He arrives. I must let my desire to write something God has invited me to write to rise above the other desires, impulses, or inclinations. Not easy.
The same is true of prayer. There are a million things I can think of to do other than bring my attention to Jesus, live in His presence, open my heart to Him and enjoy relationship together. In this, prayer is like writing or any other creative effort. Prayer is a creative effort.
Father, help me in this work I desire and intend to do, both writing and prayer. Protect me from letting fears or perfectionism hinder me. These impulses would have me give up today and wait for some “better time.” I could go that direction, but I wouldn’t be glad at day’s end that I did.
For Reflection: What creative work have you told yourself you should do “someday”? Prayer, poetry, writing a story, painting? What if someday were today? What simple first step could you take?
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