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  • Dr Patrick C Marks

Why didn't you write the right thing, silly boy?

Updated: Sep 12

I’ve had a fair few folks asking, “when’s the next blog entry coming out.” I’ve had plenty of others asking “When’s the sequel to Crash coming out” or “when are you going to finish Understanding Your Bible” or “For goodness sake man! You only work one day a week as a Pastor – when are you going to write a book on the end times?” Oh and “Didn’t you just say you were going to write something about the upcoming election? Let’s get on with it, dude.”

Sigh…

Believe me – a sermon takes a whole lot more than one day a week to prepare, so you know. And you might think it’s a piece of cake to write the sequel to a novel – after all, it only took my four years to write the first novel so it’s a little rough to think I can just pop out the sequel in a month. Finishing Understanding Your Bible or a book on Revelation (since I’m speaking on that subject every week right now) isn’t that easy either – I’ve got a video shoot I’ve got to prep for, papers to grade at the Bible college, home school kids who need an actual home school teacher, a wife who needs my attention for some crazy reason, lunch to figure out, dogs that really need to get to the groomer…oh, and a three page list of weekly “to do’s” with at least 80 items in 25 different categories…and a blog entry that needs writing.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining about people WANTING me to get stuff written. Gotta admit, that is sort of flattering. But I think my biggest pressure person…is me, darn it.

The truth is I’ve done this to myself. I don’t have a boss breathing down my neck demanding a blog entry every 24 hours, I don’t have a Dean of Academics demanding “publish or perish” either. I don’t have a publisher burning up my email with deadlines threats either. Honestly, I’m fortunate if I sell one or two books per week (that’s about enough of a royalty to pay for half of a latte at Starbucks), most of my blog entries get about fifty views if I’m extraordinarily lucky and zero comments and I really do wonder sometimes why I pressure myself to write at all. I suppose I like the few people that read!

So - I sometimes find I’ve just got more “to do” than time “to do” – know what I mean? It’s easy to find myself spreading too little effort over too many projects.

Worse, with so many choices about where to spend my time, it is tempting to just get the minimum done (Sunday’s message) and bail out on books or blogs. I sometimes look at the “potential” agenda of things I need to do or should be doing or want to do – and I feel like I’m drowning just considering it! Sometimes I’m afraid to start project “A” because that would mean I can’t do project “B” and what if I should be working on “B” instead of “A?” It’s a crazy cycle.

So how to get off the cycle and get something going? A few years back I learned there is a simple solution. It started to dawn on me what the solution was when a friend of mine said “You know, the older I get the more I realize there is no substitute for just do it!” Of course, that’s a great slogan for tennis shoe sales but in real life “just do it” can get you into trouble. It’s only partly true – I’ve got to “just do…the right thing” and that means needing some wisdom. Just do what?

Fortunately, James 1:5 reads: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

Now, from a Biblical point of view, wisdom is “The practical application of knowledge.” It means knowing the right course of action and…here it is…just doing it!

So, I’m at this computer, I’ve got a Master Chore list with at least 80ish different items on it (for this week), I had 81 items on last week’s list (of which I’m happy to report I completed 57 giving me a 70% completion rate. Still a C- but I’ll take it. C is for “continue” don’t ya know). I’ve got too many projects to do, too many people who want this or that and will likely be irritated if I choose one item over another – so which one should I start first?

Need some wisdom!

How much time and effort should I spend on one project at the expense of another? Do I keep after a book pretty much no one is going to read? How long do I write yet another thing in the vain hope a whole bunch of people will want to read it? And how many readers if “enough” anyway? Who makes the rule that “X” number of readers equals success and “Y” is just sad?

Again – need some wisdom.

So, I’m praying this morning for wisdom. And I can’t afford to second guess what comes into heart because if I do, I’m not believing God will give me what I’m asking for – and that’s double minded. Faith is trusting He IS true to His Word, He said He’ll give it if I lack it (I do) and if I will ask (I am). So, I’m praying, I’m believing and I’m sensing I need to write this…blog…hmmm…seems wise to get this little wrestle-mania out of my head and into a literary format so I can set it aside and get onto writing this coming weekend’s sermon.

I’ll - JUST DO IT then...

So – not a blog about why I think the democratic party platform stinks when it comes to abortion and morality (I do think that, I’ll get to why another time). Not more work on the Crash sequel (it’ll get done when it gets done). Nope…I’ve got a dozen things that need my attention this morning and it might seem like the blog is not a high priority. But I prayed for wisdom and “put up a blog entry” came into my heart. Maybe being honest with the half a dozen folks who might actually read this far will be a blessing to someone. Actually – it is a blessing to have written it. Sort of gets the kinks out of my thinks before I get after the bigger fish on my “to do” list.

Well, I don’t want to be like the “wave of the sea, driven and tossed” by insecurity, second guessing and not getting anything done so I prayed, I sensed, I wrote, I published and I’m off to the next thing. If you’re disappointed I didn’t write about Biden and Trump or finish the next book yet – well - wisdom pushed me in a different direction. Maybe wisdom will give me the next plot point for the sequel tomorrow – she is such a fickle girlfriend – but lovely and beautiful too.

So – blog entry task done! I can put it safely behind me for this week.

Hmmm – looks like I’m actually getting something done.

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