Monday, October 31, 2011
Shedding those extra kilos!
A few weeks ago, I had the special joy of whizzing off to Sri Lanka to spend ten wonderful days with my precious (86 year old) Mum. As I excitedly packed for my trip, one of the difficulties I faced was that the combined weight of clothes, gifts and other necessities being packed into my bag, came to a hefty 35 kilos. Why do I call it “hefty”? Because my bag allowance was only 20 kilos! Oh oh…! 15 kilos too many!
Something had to go!
After much unpacking and repacking, taking out, throwing out, putting in, pulling out and whatever else I did… I finally was only 5 kilos overweight! Whew! Much better! I hastily typed an email to my Mum and my sisters telling them of a specialist doctor’s appointment I’d attended that day. I added a post script.
PS. I’m still trying to get rid of a few kilos. Alas, I’m 5 kilos overweight!
Mum replied immediately. “Don’t worry about shedding those 5 kilos while you’re on holiday. You can think about it when you return home’!
My sister responded, ‘Mum – I think Anu means her bags and not her own weight’! If you heard a loud peal of laughter going off in 3 different countries in 3 different continents, that was us! My Mum, my sisters and I having a good laugh over her mistake!
I replied “As for my own weight – that’s more like a good 10 kilos over! “
Mum wrote back promptly! ‘Don’t worry, Anu. You and your 10 extra kilos are all welcome. Waiting for you’! When I finally reached Sri Lanka, we all had a further laugh about my Mum’s (natural) mistake about those extra kilos.
Extra baggage! We all have it in some form, don’t we? I would love to shed 10 kilos from my person but find it hard to muster up sufficient self control to stick to a diet. Perhaps one day soon, I will do it! What about us Writers? A diarrhoea of words is usually a sign of bad writing isn't it? We Writers need to constantly chop off sentences or words to make our writing tight, succinct and more readable. I don’t know how it is with you – but I struggle with this. With having too many words in my writing. I have to keep going over and over my work in order to make it much much better than the initial draft. Thankfully I love editing my own work and enjoy having a 2nd and 3rd and 4th look into it. Chopping off a sentence there! Adding a more suitable word there. Revising our work can be a lot of fun!
Of course the problem of too much baggage applies not just in Writing – it applies to us as Christians too, doesn’t it? What kind of baggage need I shed today? Of recent months, God has been challenging me more and more about my character. Have I allowed His Holy Spirit to work on me? Recently Asta reminded us that we Christian Writers have a ‘Holy Calling”. Thanks Asta! You are so right. I’d like to add to that. We also have a “Calling to Holiness” don’t we? A calling to become the people of God that He has created us to be. God calls me to be not just a Christian Writer, but also a Woman after His own heart. How else can I communicate His truth to others? I need to be ‘walking the walk’ so I can ‘talk the talk’! Don’t you agree?
And so….. I can think of many kinds of baggage that has needed to come off my own life at different points in my journey! Selfishness, pride, unforgiveness? Laziness, greed, indifference? Do those words ring any bells? How about anxiety, self centeredness and slander? Disobedience, fear, rebellion? Oh dear… the list does go on and on and on!
What kind of baggage is God asking me to offload today? Editing my stories is painstaking and needs to be done and re-done many times over. Editing myself is another matter. A life time exercise! Something that only the Master Editor could cope with doing. It must grieve Him often, that despite all his editing, He continues to find fresh flaws creeping into the person I am! Hebrews 12:14 reminds me that holiness is not an option. It is in fact, an essential part of my walk with God.
1 Peter 1:15 tells us that God calls us to be holy. 1 Peter 2:9 adds to it. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
It would be wonderful when The Amazing One and Only Designer-Creator-Editor who writes our stories puts down His heavenly pen with a flourish, looks at us with a satisfied smile, the love-light dancing in His eyes and says ‘’Well done thou good and faithful Image-bearers. You are exactly as I planned you to become. Enter into the joy of my Kingdom’!
Wouldn’t that be something worth striving for?