Have you ever known you should be doing something – something that calls you, begs you to give it a voice – but you just can’t.
I can’t even put words to why I am procrastinating, but in spite of hearing God call me to write and paint, I will often actively ignore that gentle nudge and do something else. It may be a good thing I’m doing (decluttering the house, catching up on work, solving crossword puzzles, searching Pinterest for tiny human craft ideas…), but it is not what I should be doing. And I know it because whatever I’m doing doesn’t satisfy the longing I’m feeling, and I add to that longing a small unsettled feeling in my soul. I need to keep house and work and take care of my people and myself, but I also must answer God when he prompts me to write or draw or glue (just as long as he doesn’t tell me to glitter – pretty sure glitter is the tiny human’s spiritual gift anyway).
The thing about me avoiding what I know I should do is ridiculous in so many ways because I love “to art.” (Why isn’t art a verb?? It is now for me.) I love writing, I love creating, and I love putting all of that together. Yet I have put off relaunching the blog for over a year. I’m just getting back to completing paintings I started over a year ago, and I have two books that I need to sit down with and finish so I can decide how to proceed with publishing. Why am I putting off these things that I love and very much want to do?
I have two answers that both apply to my procrastination. First, I am afraid.
You may not believe me, but I am very much an introvert, and I fit very neatly into the INFJ category every time I take the Meyers-Briggs personality test. I take criticism super personally, so putting anything out for public viewing is nerve-wracking every time. Every post. Every sketch. Every word. They all become so easy to obsess over and put my value in: if people like this blog post, then they like me. I know it’s a mental and spiritual trap, but it’s an easy one to get caught up in. Which leads me to…
Second, I get caught in Satan’s plans to distract me from what really matters.
If I’m not arting when I know I should, I’m not using a gift God gave me to glorify him. If I hang any of my value on what someone else thinks of what I create, I am letting Satan take away my God-given value as a child of God. And I am wasting the time I’ve been given here on earth.
When God gives you a gift, you will be called to use it; everything you do to avoid it is just wasting time. Very carefully notice that I am not saying that everything else that you do is a waste of time. If you are a functional adult, you know that there are other things that will occupy your time – earning a paycheck, for instance – and none of those things are a waste of time. All of us are given a gift of some kind to use, and we will all be accountable to God for the way that we used them. If you just read that and thought, “I don’t have a gift,” or, “I’m not good at anything,” STOP. Stop it. You have a gift, and I will be dedicating some time to helping you discover your gift in future posts. But for now, rest assured that you are gifted. You may not be a painter or a writer or a musician, but you might be an engineer, a baker, an organizer, a mathematician, a runner, a listener… God made us each unique, and the gifts he gives are as varied as we are. Don’t let comparison convince you that you are not equally gifted because your gift is less publicly obvious than someone else’s. That, too, is a waste of time.
If you’ve noticed that I so far am mostly confessing that I’m currently guilty of wasting time, you’re right. Now that I’ve written this far, I realize that I’m not offering any solutions or practical admonitions or observations. I am simply confessing. And committing. I commit to change the way I approach my arting and blogging, and I am asking you to join me on the journey. My commitment to you is that I will art somehow daily, and I will be working on the blog continuously as I do so. I have a few plans ready to implement now and a few ideas that are kind of huge and scary. I want you to keep me accountable. I am publicly proclaiming these plans so that I will be bound to complete them, having now committed to doing so. If you notice me slacking off, please call me on it – hold my feet to the fire, as it were. I’m tired of wasting time.