This weird thing has taken place in my life and I feel the time has come for me to confess this. I sort of feel like Usher circa 2003 “These are my confessions.” Okay, here it is: I read the same books as teenage girls. It feels good getting that off my chest. But I should explain. At the beginning of summer, I had a few students (and by students I mean high school girls) in my youth group who recommended I read a few books. So I took them up on the offer because…well…I am a good pastor.
I recently finished Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road. It’s one of those books I’ve heard people talk about quite a bit, usually with this cult-classic fascination that says, “If you don’t read this book, you are missing out on life itself.” People get like that with certain books and sometimes it’s unfounded, but the truth is, I did enjoy this one. Interestingly, though, my enjoyment wasn’t so much for the story itself or even the characters, but for Kerouac’s writing style. I guess you can like a book for a number of different reasons and that was mine.
Recently I read Stephen King’s autobiography On Writing and I’ve come to an important conclusion: When I grow up I want to be like Stephen King. I should clarify. It’s not because I want to write about demon clowns or other scary stuff that makes you fall asleep with the light on. I don’t want to do that. That’s not my thing. First off, I’ve never been to Maine, and secondly, the story It has forever ruined the circus for me. (Thanks for that, Mr. King.) What I do want, however, is his work ethic. King knows how to churn it out. Book after book. Year after year. For King, success is finishing one project and getting started on the next. He knows how to keep on running.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to be a ‘one-day’ person? Often times we have this annoying tendency of organizing our lives and fixating on what we will do ‘one day’, instead of living for ‘today.’ It’s easy to get caught up in what could be–one day I will take ownership of my life; one day I will finish that degree; one day I will stand for something I believe in. The inconvenient truth is the world is full of ‘one-day’ people.
Steven Pressfield writes extensively about a force that keeps us from doing our work or pursuing our calling. It’s a force that keeps us being “one day” people. He calls this invisible enemy Resistance. It is the Resistance, he says, that makes writers not write, or painters not paint, or musicians not play their instruments. It is a paralyzing force that robs us of the joy of living for today. It manifests itself in different ways–procrastination, doubt, fear, addictions. The first time I read about Resistance I immediately linked it to a spiritual phenomenon. Undoubtedly, you’ve experienced this force in your own life. Overcoming resistance is key to becoming free and ‘otherworldly.‘