It is cold chilly here in Florida today. We get a few days like this every year and although I like to be able to go outside without breaking into a sweat, I often use the temperature drop as an excuse to stay inside more. But as I’ve written, I’ve been riding my bike lately and have actually been knitting a hat to keep my ears warm during my morning adventures. I’m going out, cold weather or not. I am encouraged and inspired by a blogger I’ve started following at www.bikelikecrazy.com. My five miles in the sunshine doesn’t measure up to her daily 10 mile commute to work in snow and ice (yes, she does that).
I’m also thinking a lot about my imagination, which needs exercise as much as my body does. It is a good thing to be totally present in the here and now, which is where I feel I have been for quite a long time. Doing life, dealing with its circumstances and spending time with the people accessible to me, has been my focus. Writing about life takes time and imagination, and has not been my focus. I haven’t been writing. The few things I’ve cranked out have been a struggle and I’ve not gotten much satisfaction from them. I’ve told myself that this is probably a stage to be expected. I should not be upset with it, but I should expect it to pass.
So, in my imagination I am writing a book, a very satisfying book. It begins with people living ordinary lives, but with a sense of calling or higher purpose. This sense carries them through difficulties of all kinds, and grief unspeakable at times. This sense frames their everyday activities in a meaningful way. It makes them examine every relationship with others with a keen eye as to what might be happening. The enduring quality of this “sense” means it is picked up by their children, and their children’s children.
Some of this I do not have to imagine because it is contained in the diaries and personal letters of my ancestors. I am thankful for their attention to recording what they experienced. The things they have written have made a difference to me – one person, many generations later. The thought that one person in the future might be encouraged by something I write is reason enough for me to be diligent. My imaginative effort does not have to include fame, book deals and sequels in order for me to want to do the work. However, it also doesn’t hurt to imagine those things since they are pretty safe there and it gives me practice not fearing them.
Someone in times past was inspired to write “now to the one who can do infinitely more than all we can ask or imagine according to the power that is working among us”. I think that inspiration came from a God who wanted us to imagine not just mediocre, impoverished imaginings, but big, creative and challenging ones. Practice in doing that is what I need, and a good time to do it is while I’m on my bike.
I’m putting on my hat and getting to it.