Yesterday, I quit the Internet. Today, I took the Internet to Starbucks and toasted it with a venti Americano: we made up.
Internet, I could never stay mad at you.
Sometimes, I’m just so tired of All the Reacting. Every one is always reacting to every one else’s work, and right now, in these weeks of writing, I want to create. I want to create my own work, not react to or critique someone else’s work. I’m rather over reacting or evangelistic commenting or convincing or weighing in or defending or add my two-cents-ing. Besides, haven’t we hit capacity on constantly being outraged and offended?
I would rather Create than React.
I need to tell a better story, a beautiful story, a truthful one. I’m not a preacher or a teacher, and I’m realising that I am not a good “reactor” either – wait a tick, is that even a word? I don’t think it is, unless the word “nuclear” is in front of it, which may be apropos for the tone of some rhetoric these days.
Instead of big arguments and point-by-point apologetics, instead of reacting to slights, imagined or legitimate, political or religious or relational, I long to get on with my Father’s business.
I’d rather be a Prophet than a Professor, a Lover than an Apologist.
I long to Love, I long to offer grace, particularly to those struggling under their own new Laws, I long to worship, I’d rather write a better story than a point-by-point defense, and I long to really see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
It’s a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks at it in wonder. How grateful we are to hear these stories, and how happy it makes us to repeat them. ~ Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
I can’t live a better story – let alone write one down (by January! *faint*) – if I’m being swept up in a million comments and expectations and frustrations and whirlwinds of offense.
I can’t Create, if I’m busy Reacting. Some of my best work – on-screen and off – comes when I’m listening more than I’m talking, when I’m decreasing and God is increasing, when my heart is undivided and whole.
This idea is guiding a lot of my life right now (and, yes, of course, I’m talking about way more than just writing a book):
Am I creating something beautiful and true? Or am I merely reacting?
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. – Theodore Roosevelt
And I can’t be Fearless, if I’m afraid of The Critic, now can I? For me, It’s better to forget about the Critics for just a little while, in this sweet stage of creating, and simply get on it. There will be plenty of time to have my work picked apart later. I don’t mean to excuse a lack of critical thinking, not at all, there’s a good place for it – in creativity, in writing, in social justice, in community, in marriages, in parenting, all of it – but in all of those arenas, I hope I’m marred by dust and sweat and blood, I hope I dare greatly.
Right now, I’ll try, in my own small way, to dare a little more greatly, and take a few risks, by remembering to create, instead of react.
Photo by Scott Wade