Monday, July 6, 2015

'One Day' by Sue Jeffrey

Late last year I decided to start blogging. I love writing and I like to express my opinion on things that matter. A blog seemed to be a natural outlet for those opinions. Alas, nothing happened. I'd think about setting it up then all too eagerly relegate the idea to my ‘one day’ pile. There were good reasons for this. Unexpected health issues, other writing projects, general busyness of life and church, along with paid work, are all factors that fuelled my exceptional gift for procrastination. [My honorary PhD in this subject will be coming in in the mail soon, I’m sure…] 

I might never have started but for Nola calling for writers for this blog. I reasoned that it was a great opportunity to begin. Even if it were just a one-time-only trek up the snow-capped mountain of bloggerdom, it would be a start. And so here I am. Hi, everyone!

I know I’m not alone in succumbing to the ‘one day’ phenomenon. It’s rife in our world where there are so many demands on our time and peace of mind. As writers we are especially at risk. This thing we do has no immediate productive value as our society judges it, unless we have a contract and a deadline. Even then there are those who question us.

‘Isn’t writing something you do when you retire?’ one woman said, when I enrolled at Tabor Adelaide to do my Masters (creative writing). I laugh about it now, but sometimes I still hear the whisper in my soul that creativity isn’t important. Not really. Not now. Maybe one day…

But it is important. For most of us Christian Writers Downunder, writing is a key part of our heart and our call. Our Father, the creator of all things, whispers into the deepest places of our being, saying, ‘Come, create with me.’  We obey as best we can but sometimes it’s still tempting to say, ‘Yes - but one day.’

In Ephesians 5:16 Paul tells us to make the most of every opportunity, as the days are evil. How we do that depends on our call. But we need to do it now – not one day – because one day might never come.

Adelaide is still reeling from the news that a prominent sporting personality was murdered last Friday – by his son. It’s unbelievable. Phil Walsh was senior coach of the AFL team the Adelaide Crows and in that role was a well-liked mentor to many young footballers. He had been a strong influence at several clubs before this. I remember reading an article about Phil before the current footy season. In 2012 he had an accident while on holiday in Peru. He was hit by a mini-bus and his injuries left him in hospital for weeks. He realised that life was precious – and brief – and he needed to take risks and make the most of his potential. When he returned to Australia he listed all the things he wanted to accomplish. Until that time he’d been content to be an assistant coach but in late 2014 he agreed to be the senior coach at the Crows. He died a few months later.

The whole thing is tragic and many in their grief will ask ‘why?’ There is no answer other than ‘the days in which we live are evil’.

I don’t know where Phil’s heart was/is with God – only the Lord knows that – but I do believe that when he died he was fully engaged in what he perceived was his life purpose. 

Are we?

Our God is gracious as he calls us forward in our craft. He forgives our procrastinations. He whispers to us as we feel his tug to co-create. ‘Begin afresh, my child. Forget about yesterday, don’t worry about ‘one day’, today is here. It is precious; so are you!’

What has God put on your heart to accomplish? What will you do today?


Sue Jeffrey was born in Scotland but moved to Brisbane, Australia with her family when she was just a wee lass. After a childhood spent reading, drawing and accumulating stray animals, Sue studied veterinary science and later moved to Adelaide where she worked as both a vet and a pastor. After a sojourn of several years in the Australian Capital Territory, Sue returned to Adelaide with two dogs, a very nice husband, and a deep desire to write. Sue recently completed a MA in creative writing at Tabor, Adelaide and now lives in Grange, South Australia, with her husband, two ancient doglets, a fat, tortoiseshell cat and a recently rescued cockatiel (yes, she still accumulates strays). Sue also paints animal portraits.




15 comments:

  1. Hi Sue - welcome to blogging :) And thanks for the reminder that our time is precious and none of us know how long we have on this earth. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry at the comment of one of your friends '‘Isn’t writing something you do when you retire?' I'm glad that great writers like Jane Austen, Bryce Courtenay, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Jodi Picoult or any number you can think of didn't take that advice. It may be 'never too late to start' but how much better to start today :)

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    1. Thanks, Jeanette :). I have to remind myself of this truth daily.

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  2. That's a great post Sue. I'm so glad you answered the blogging call :) I've been a lifetime member of the procrastination club, but have been actively pursuing writing for a few years now. Strangely enough that novel just isn't writing itself! Sometimes weeks pass by and I haven't added to it at all. But when I heard that the Queensland Writers Centre was having an editor's boot camp in August, it dawned on me that I could go if I had a finished draft. Still working on the draft, but it's happening a little at a time. Thanks for the reminder to keep plugging away at what God has placed on our hearts. May he continue to bless you richly as you pursue your dreams.

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    1. Ah, it's good to meet a fellow member of that club. I often think how much better it would be if the novels would write themselves. Although... Have you read Roald Dahl's The Great Automatic Grammatizator? I wouldn't want to pay that price. Lol. Good luck with that editor's boot camp. :)

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    2. I don't know Sue - I have so much fun writing my novels. Yes, there are difficult patches but mostly I enjoy it. Not going to give that pleasure to an automaton.

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  3. Enjoyed your post, Sue. I well know the feeling. I tend to say yes to zillions of projects - because I would like to do them all - and then find myself bogged down and time-pressured, stressed and devoid of creativity. Then I go and get an old-fashioned notebook and pen and make a list of everything I want or need to do and prioritise it. It works for me. Well, usually. I consider writing important and feel God wants me writing ( amongst other things). Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. Yes Jeanette, I'm just like that too (You're not an ENFP are you?). I dive in and then wonder why I feel as if I'm engulfed in quicksand. That notebook and pen sounds like a great idea.

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    2. Not an ENFP. I think an INFJ - the typical 'author' profile, but have developed a lot of extraverted behaviour ( life does that to you, doesn't' it!) , so if I go by the questions I am ENFJ. I like my life well-organised but I break my own rules!

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  4. I really enjoyed reading your blog, Sue--thank you. With all you have accomplished in your life, I can't imagine you would ever qualify for that PhD in procrastination!

    And yes, I well remember when I started writing almost full-time in 2004 how various people commented to me 'Oh, it must be nice to be retired and spend your time writing!' I did not consider myself retired at all--and I still don't! Oh well.

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    1. Thanks, Jo-Anne. I'm a great procrastinator but I'm also good at the last minute panic to get things done. Hmmm, I think I'm paying the price for that now :).

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  5. Hi Sue,
    Welcome to the world of blogging. Yes, it's been a very sad week in Adelaide, and your observations about Phil Walsh living his purpose are spot on. I have to remind myself of this all the time too, as I know what seasons of intense hard work are like, and also seasons of procrastination. I'm glad we have fellow Christian Aussie authors to remind us to not get discouraged.

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  6. That was a lovely post Sue. A warm welcome into the world of blogging. Now that you've dipped your toes in, you probably will jump in with both feet into it to create a mighty splash. Great to have your thoughts and may you enjoy this new season. It's a brand new season for me too in many important ways and so yes, God is laying many wonderful new beginnings in my heart too. All the best in your interesting life and here's to good health, great blogs and lots and lots of creativity. :)

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  7. I loved this blog... i thought about leaving my comment for another day... but then... one day... one day...(oh yeah that what the article was about)... one day probably wont happen... just say something now. Well done on the timely reminder to get busy with not procrastinating .

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  8. Honestly... I wrote a comment, but it did not appear.
    Susan

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  9. Hi Sue, thank you for the reminder to make the most of every opportunity. I needed to hear that and enjoyed reading your post. What I'll be doing today? After reading your post; one by one i'll be closing my 60 tabs which I have open on my computer, It's a record even for me. I didn't know my PC was capable of this. No no no, I don't call this procrastination, it's uh ... research.

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