Define productivity…??

wood 2One of my bloggish buddies, Enthusiastically Dawn (yes, how could I not like someone who’s name is also Dawn?!?  I wonder if she’s a morning person like me?) is an avid journalist.  No, I mean, she writes the journal on journaling.  And her journals aren’t just the five-and-dime variety, they are, themselves, works of art, that she further turns into works of art with her both her prose and poetry.  Even her blog site is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l and her Instagram feed gives us frequent vids of the ocean (ahhhhh….that soothing sound of waves….here in Missouri we get tornado sirens.)

So, what’s more inviting to a writer/poet/artist than a blank folio? (Unless, of course, you have writer’s block, which I doubt my buddy ever does, bless her!) That clean unqualified availability just pulls the pen to the page, or if it’s my almost three-year-old granddaughter, the crayon.  Or better yet, as when we moved into this old house, we knew we were going to strip the wall paper off and repaint, so guess what we let our children do with their crayons?  Don’t you think those blank walls were inviting!?!

I’m thinking this same kind of opportunity caught Jesus’ eye as well~~

“One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God.  He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets.  Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.”

Availability.  I can imagine that an empty, waiting boat would have been more inviting than a boat with a bunch of slippery fish in it.  This doesn’t mean totally tanking our responsibilities to clear our schedule, but it will most probably mean a severe reordering of priorities.

Of course, what happened next surprised everyone, Peter most of all.  After finishing His sermon, Jesus decides to take Peter on a little fishing trip right there, in his own boat.  Peter objects.  He’s been up all night (he’s a bit tired and hungry, hasn’t even had his morning java yet), he’s already lent this guy his boat when he’d rather be sleeping, and now he’s being told to fish waters he already “knows” is a waste of time (this is his own profession, after all.  Sheesh.  Who does this guy think he is?)

“And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!  A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.”

The point is, Peter’s availability proceeded his productivity.  Of course, then his product line changed to a slightly higher order…

I guess I should be prepared for that as well.

Luke 5: 1-3,6,7  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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The problem with a leaky pen is……

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So interesting how language changes, even in one’s own lifetime.   A surfboard was something of a status symbol at the beach in the 60’s.  Now that fine word has been sliced up: Typing has morphed into keyboarding, and surf is something one does on the internet.spot

Either way, there’s still no comparison to putting pen to paper.  I’m a bit picky with my pens; maybe it’s just a sign of age.  I prefer ball point, fine line.  I remember using the old cartridge pens, and when they sprung a leak, you knew it.  Ball points not quite as much, but
they can still get gooey and cause some literary angst, especially when…

  1. …it smudges and makes a mess on the paper. This must be particular frustrating to left-handed writers, as they drag their dominate hand across the paper, leaving a black trail in its wake. spot (I’m right handed, and have grown to realize how discriminated against they are!)  
  2. …the smudginess is distracting to the reader, and can even garble up the communication if they are left to interpret the ink when it looks like Chinese characters or a Rorschach test.
  3. …it wastes ink and paper, which costs money (and trees).
  4. …it’s hard to get out of clothes, especially when you wash and dry one hidden in a pocket. (You wonder how I know this???  Yes, white nursing uniform.)

Warning: Such a pen tends to be put aside for a more efficient writing tool.

This may not be a perfect analogy to my life, but a few points may be worthy of note:spot

  1. Life generally just gets messy sometimes, or many times, even without my help. Someone comes along and drags their crud through my lane leaving some ink smudges while they trek merrily along.  Or worse, I’m the leaky one.  Whether through offenses retained from someone else’s ink, or decisions of my own, I’m blotching up my own personal timeline hitting the publish button whether I know it or not.
  2. This causes distractions to those reading my life. And they are there, for all of us, usually when we are least aware of it, watching and learning from how we react and respond. 
  3. The grudge-holding blemishes are some of the worst emotion-absorbers of all time, to name but one among many. As a Christian in particular, this one wastes the abundant life that is intended to flow through me to others.  
  4. Sometimes even when the offense is resolved and forgiven, there still is that emotional or relational stain that needs to be dealt with. And this takes time, effort, and an expert Laundryman. 

Me, I tend to throw leaky pens away.  Thank God for amazing grace, that He doesn’t do that with us!  But the warning remains, that if I CHOOSE to remain leaky and continue to cause smudges, He might put me up for a while in favor of a more efficient tool.  That would be sad…

Because the best thing for a pen is to be held in the hand of the Writer!