“But I keep cruising, can't stop, won't stop moving
It's like I got this music in my body and it's gonna be alright…”
Taylor Swift - Shake It Off
I’m tired, hungry, and a little bit cold. I should get something to eat or go to sleep, but I need to write. I use the word “need” carefully. I don’t want to write; I need to write. If I don’t, I feel that I will explode, like in Langston Hughes poem, A Dream Deferred:
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
I’m not sure what Mr. Hughes was referring to, what his dream was, but when my Purpose is deferred, by me or others, when I don’t write, I feel all those things. I dry up. I fester. I stink. My spirit sags, and I feel like I’m going to explode. Maybe I don’t feel them all at once, but I feel them all eventually. So I keep writing, past fatigue or hunger or cold. Sometimes I’ve written when I was sick. It’s that important to me.
Sometimes I write a lot. Other times, like tonight, I don’t write much. But I write something. I let God, my Muse, and the world know that I’m still here, that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.
I don’t want anyone to feel the way I feel when I’m out of my Purpose, but maybe that’s what it takes. Maybe we have to get so miserable that we finally feel that we have no choice.
Years ago I felt a very strong calling to go on a missionary trip. I had it all planned, but then, for financial considerations, I changed my mind. After I did, I felt miserable. Nothing made me happy. I tried to rationalize my reasons. I tried to make myself feel better. But nothing worked. Then one night I got sick, perhaps a 24-hour flu. I was feverish and chilled and miserable. I finally fell asleep fitfully. Then God spoke to me in a dream. He was very clear. He said,
“It will cost you more to stay home than it will to go.”
I am spiritually sensitive, but I rarely hear the voice of God and certainly not so clearly. But that is what I heard when I woke that morning sweating profusely. Within minutes, I made some phone calls and the trip was back on. I left the next day.
I’d like to say that the trip was life-changing. I don’t know if it was that, but it was an adventure and it was fun. So was the rest of my summer. I don’t think it would have been if I had not taken this trip. It would have cost me more to stay home, and I’m glad I don’t know how that would have been accomplished. I’m glad I did what I was supposed to do.
That’s one of the reasons I write every day. I’m supposed to do this. The price I pay in delaying gratifications is not nearly the price I would pay if I didn’t Get Started and Keep Going. It would cost me more to not do this.