I love to write. I always have. I’m not saying every time I’ve gone to write something, I’ve loved the process (looking at you every paper I ever wrote at Ozark), but I do have a deep-seated love for putting words on paper and trying to do it well. In fact, since I was a kid, I’ve carried a small, unspoken until now, and admittedly unrealistic dream of seeing my name on the cover of a book one day. 

Here’s the thing, though. The thing that makes this dream unrealistic isn’t that I’m a bad writer. I can learn to be a better writer, not to mention the fact that it’s really not that hard to self-publish. No, what makes it unlikely that I’ll ever fulfill that dream is the same thing that would make it hard for anyone to ever guess that I like to write: I hardly ever do it. This is my second time writing a post for Christ’s Church’s blog, and since the last one I think I’ve written one other thing (outside of texts and emails, obviously). If you were to somehow gain access to my google docs, you wouldn’t find an abundance of short stories, unfinished novels, or poems. You’d find meeting notes, school papers, and random manuals for the church’s A/V equipment. 

If I love to write so much, why don’t I do it more? That’s probably a pretty relatable question, maybe just replacing “write” with your own activity.

“If I love to read so much, why don’t I do it more?” 
“If I love the outdoors so much, why do I spend so much time inside?”
“If I love the Lord so much, why can it be so hard to spend time with Him?”

This reminds me of what Paul says in Romans 7.

“For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.”

Romans 7:18-19

Paul says this in the context of a discussion of the law and the sinful nature of man that lives within us, and so it makes sense that he would use the word “evil.” However, I think this comes into play in less extremes as well. Sometimes, the thing that keeps us from doing the Good that we want to do – spending time with our Lord, reflecting His creative nature in writing or making music, enjoying His creation in nature, participating in the community He has given us – is not Evil, just the Less Good, or the Not Bad. 

In his book, The War of Art, author Steven Pressfield would call this “Resistance.” Resistance is the thing that gets in your way when you plan on doing something you know you should do or even just really want to do. You have every intention of getting up early to read your Bible, but Resistance is the thing that wakes up with you when your alarm goes off and convinces you that you’re just too tired and you can do it later. (By the way, every example I’ve used so far is pulled straight from the average day in my life. Except for the outdoors part. And the reading one. I read more than enough.) Pressfield calls this Resistance in an attempt to make the concept approachable for those who might be uncomfortable with spirituality, but we might call this idea the Enemy. 

If you’re reading this, odds are you have or are currently feeling something similar to that final question – “If I love the Lord so much, why can it be so hard to spend time with Him?” We would all likely say we have, at least at one point, experienced that dichotomy between our desires and actions. I want to know Jesus better so I can love Him better, but if someone were to look at a list of all the things I do to get to know Him better, they wouldn’t be able to tell. The desire is there, but when the time comes to be with Him, Resistance (the Enemy) comes and whispers in my ear. 

“You could, but remember that new show came out that looked really good.”
“Yeah, you want to, but you also like to read The Lord of the Rings.”
“Oh, absolutely you should do that, but you also need sleep to function well during the day, so you should probably just take another 15-75 minutes.”

I’ll be blunt. I do not have a silver bullet to kill Resistance. I don’t even have ideas for building habits or getting past the voice in your ear that says the Not Bad is a better choice than the Good this time. All I have is encouragement. My only hope with all these words is that if you’re experiencing something like this, knowing I am, too, will help. You’re not alone. The Father still loves you and is still pleased with you. Keep your head up, and let’s keep going together. Let’s know Him so we can love Him. 

“I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of his resurrection and the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection of the dead.”

Philippians 3:10-11

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