I’ve got writer’s block today. My brain does not want me to post to the blog, apparently. Ironically enough, the best way to combat writer’s block is to…write. Ernest Hemingway has some advice for writers in his semi-autobiographical novel A Moveable Feast. He writes “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

I have one true sentence for you. The truest sentence that I know. Here it goes:

I really want to be a resource for all of you, but I am still learning how.

Would that we were all on the same wavelength, and we understood perfectly how to communicate with one another. Alas, life is not so. We struggle to learn the communication styles of others, and adapt our own to be compatible and comfortable, or we don’t and things can get awkward.

We’ve now entered into a time where people can only connect remotely, or not at all, and that comes with a pretty steep learning curve. As someone who is relatively new at directing a ministry, I’ve certainly got my work cut out for me. I’m going to shift gears here, so bear with me as I launch into a little bit of stream of consciousness.

I think a lot of us are pretty accustomed to using the phrase “I don’t have the time,” or “I’m too busy,” but what do we say now that we have nothing but time on our hands? Do we explore every possible venture to fill our time in the name of productivity? Do we veg out on the couch in the name of relaxation? Personally, I think I have fluctuated between the two. Why?

What is it that makes us want to fill our time with something for our brain to fixate on? There is one thing that comes to mind. If you’re busy, mind or body, then you don’t have to spend time thinking about one thing. Something scary, and at times, painful. Self reflection.

Self reflection, or introspection, is a word that makes me want to shutter the blinds, close all the doors, turn out the lights, and hide under a big blanket because there isn’t much out there that’s scarier than taking a look at the parts of ourselves that we don’t wish to confront. We don’t want to look at the rage, the sorrow, the trauma, or the fear because it hurts, and it can hurt a lot. It’s a heck of a lot easier to just pretend that stuff doesn’t exist.

So what point am I trying to make? Honestly, I don’t know. All I know is that we all can often cope through numbing mechanisms, everyday activities that we use to fill our time and distract our thoughts. So, maybe I am making a point here after all. Maybe we should all spend more time doing nothing. And I don’t mean vegging out on the couch, or drifting into the empty escape of reality television (which, to be honest, I love), but through intentionally taking the time to literally do nothing. Something more akin to the act of surrender than to relaxation. Call it meditation or time alone with God, prayer time or quiet time, it’s valuable and it teaches a lot.

I’ll leave you this week with a brief piece of uplifting scripture that’s pretty on theme:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.

I miss you all, and hope to be able to speak face-to-face soon.

Peace of Christ be with you,

Marshall Lauck

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