Leaving the Safety of the Shore

When I returned from vacation/retreat/etc., I gave myself until the first of September to settle back into a writing routine. While I am planning to tweak my schedule a bit more, it’s worked. Starting off gradually, I’ve eased myself back in remarkably well. The past few days, I have been writing regularly.

So this morning, as I was rejoicing that I’m back, I suddenly realized that I am nervous about September’s project–my next screenplay. I even started playing around with the idea that I could, instead, focus on my next book. And then get to the screenplay whenever…

And then I read today’s Gospel reading, from Luke 5:1-11, where Jesus invites Peter to “put out into the deep” for a catch of fish. And I realized that God might be inviting me to put out into the deep as well, with this screenplay. Like Peter, I am ready with reasons to resist: “But I already tried that, and it didn’t work”; “I’m tired–that’s so much work!”; “What if nothing happens and I waste all that time and I’m left with an empty page?”; or “What if I write the script and it’s terrible?”

But Peter doesn’t stay with his resistance. “If you say so, Lord, I’ll go.”

I don’t believe that this passage from Luke just “happened to be” the reading I meditated with today. So, in his own way, the Lord is inviting me, too, to put out into the deep.

What does it take for us as writers, communicators, artists, to leave the safety of the shore and delve deep into our material, into ourselves, into our stories? What does it take for us to take the next big risk?

Above all, for me it takes trust in God, that he will continue to lead me despite the unknowns. I have to trust God enough to let go of the need to feel in control. But I also have to trust in myself–kind of as an extension of my trust in God–because God is the One who created, called, and gifted me, and now seems to be inviting me so directly to write this particular story.

So, I’m finishing this blogpost and setting out. And just to give me a sense of adventure, stormclouds have gathered while I’ve been blogging and thunder is beginning to rumble.

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