photo © 2007 Gareth Simpson | more info (via: Wylio)I got to do a "reverse Superman" a couple of days ago. Having taken my car in to get the windshield replaced (a three-hour job thanks to the oh-so-cool auto-dim rearview mirror), I was at the nearby Starbucks for a couple of hours with my netbook, a venti skinny caramel macchiato and a warm blueberry muffin. Mmmm . . . warm muffins and hot coffee . . . mmmm . . .
Oh! Right! And I had a couple of stories on a flash drive. Granted, the characters weren't mine (the beauty of fan fiction - thanks Walt!) but the plots are, and I was tinkering with scenes and dialogue and motivations of the characters. I got stuck a time or three as a plotline threatened to stall out or veer wildly off-course, but it was okay. I had the time to look out the window, sip my drink and let my mind wander through some possibilities without the thought niggling at the back of my mind I had housework to do or an office job to leave for in short order. No 'to do' list beckoned. For almost two hours that morning the only thing I had to do - and got to do - was write.
It was, simply, really nice. There is a sense of contentment and a rhythm that is like no other when you're doing what you're wired to be doing. I've experienced it when I hit the sweet spot for running, found the groove of a story, and even when I've finished the laundry. (We're made of may wires, are we not?) But as the term "reverse Superman" implies, I had to take off my writer-ly costume and get to my day job for the afternoon. Tales of a time traveller and a curmudgeonly doctor, of unlikely meetings in a bookstore, had to be laid aside as I prepared to answer phones and e-mails and other office-relates tasks.
But it didn't leave me feeling out of sorts like it sometimes has in the past. This time I carried with me the satisfaction of having used the time before my office job wisely. I didn't allow the distractions that tapped on my shoulder to 'quick check Facebook' or 'read one more chapter in that book' to take precedence. It was . . . nice. And encouraging.
In a roundabout way, the above all got me to thinking about what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:24: In a race many runners compete but only one gets the prize. In other words, not everyone reaches his or her goals. And I could be wrong, but I think this most often happens when we first get our focus off of God and then off of what He has wired each of us to do in this life. For example, I get terribly messed up if I try to run my husband's race. Yes, we are running side-by-side, but we're not the exact same person with the exact same roles to fulfill. So it was really neat to see how the Amplified Bible finished up the verse:
So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:24b
So run the race God has set before you. Don't try to run someone else's course. And let out a little "Whoohoo!" to celebrate the sweet spots along the way. ツ