I am a woman who likes new things, well, not really things, per se, but new starts, new projects, new opportunities. Probably part of this penchant comes from the fact that my family moved ten times before I was 4; probably some of it results from the fact that I have parents who are, obviously, not afraid of change; probably some of it is a generational thing, as Shawn Smucker explored yesterday. Whatever caused this desire for the new in me, I am often grateful for it because I am not a person who stagnates easily.
But sometimes – in relationships, in jobs, in places, and particularly in writing – this desire for something new is absolutely the opposite of what I need. Sometimes it is not an act of courage to start something new; it is an act of cowardice when faced with the long-stretch of life I see before me. I’d much rather pick up a new cross-stitch pattern or read a new book (the pile beside my bed testifies to this) or write something entirely different rather than face “the middle” of anything. (You see, I’m also pretty good at endings; I’ve had to learn to be.)
Laraine Herring says, “There is always a barren place, a place where you feel you don’t have enough supplies, or talent, or hope to cross. This is the intersection where hope becomes faith . . . . ” Amen to that.
I’m learning to push through the barren places. I’m learning that much that is worth having is largely made of up “the middle,” the daily, the mundane. But sometimes, it is in the seemingly lifeless, empty places that I find the greatest source of life – like I walked up on the burning bush and found myself somewhere holy.