Writing is a lonely profession. Hours of solitude are needed to produce printed pages. Contrary to what some may believe, I’m not cozied up in an ivory tower munching on chocolate, joyfully pecking away at the keyboard. I’m holed up in my writing room, guzzling cup after cup of tea, wringing words from a stubborn muse, and hoping they make sense.
I’m not complaining. Writing is my calling. In it—and sometimes in spite of it—I find joy, fulfillment, satisfaction and purpose. It’s a good thing God gifted me with a love for solitude.
But sometimes I feel as though I’m not doing enough for God. That I need to be baking cakes for funeral dinners, making meals for those who are ill, injured, or recovering from surgery, or being more involved at my church.
When our children were growing up, I taught Sunday school, Vacation Bible School and Good News Club. I directed the choir at our little country church, wrote songs and sang them to the congregation. I even took my turn cleaning the church.
But now I work out of my home, writing, editing and mentoring student writers online. I teach an occasional writing workshop at a writers conference or give a speech at a ladies’ tea. Twice a month I help in the Sunday school class for pre-schoolers. All I have to do is show up and love on them. Once a month my husband and I greet folks at the Guest Center and pray with the pastor before the church service.
But still I ask, Am I doing enough for God?
Why is it that I tend to disregard at what I am doing and focus on what I’m not—on what I think I should be doing? Why do I feel I need to be doing more?
But doing more “out there” means spending less time “in here”—in my writing room—fulfilling what I know I’m called to do in this season of my life.
Guideposts writer Elizabeth Sherrill once felt, she, too, needed to be “out there” instead of “in here.” But as she prayed, she realized she’d always been a person who craved solitude. God created her that way for a reason—He knew the hours alone she’d need to fulfill the purpose He had planned for her—to be a writer.
Maybe someday I’ll go on a on a mission trip—to Eastern Europe from where my grandmother emigrated. But until then, I’ll pray to be sensitive to the voice of the One who calls me—and be thankful He has a purpose for me—right in my writing room.
Give me the desires of my heart, O Lord—that is, place Your desires in my heart, so that I want what You want me to want. Only then can I fulfill Your purpose for me. Amen.
Special-Tea: Psalm 139:1–18