I’ve talked about how writing is like baking previously. The analogy suffices. A writer adds ingredients to create something worth consuming.
In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. Give it everything you have, heart and soul. […] Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t be discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take. — from Joshua 1:1-9, The Message
“I have decided to make a covenant with the God of Israel and turn history around so that God will no longer be angry with us. Children, don’t drag your feet in this! God has chosen you to take your place before him to serve in conducting and leading worship — this is your life work; make sure you do it and do it well.” — 2 Chronicles 29:10-1, The Message, King Hezekiah speaking to the priests and Levites
Those slog days. Molasses days. Days where the sand never runs out of the hourglass, time never winds down, the day never ends. Dark days. Abysmal days. A dampening of the spirit (despite the sunny with a high of 75°). Gray-tinged, gray-clouded. A slog, both noun and verb.
Slog: (n) a spell of difficult, tiring work or traveling
Slog: (v) 1. work hard over a period of time; 2. hit forcefully and typically wildly, especially in boxing
On the slog days, work becomes a struggle. Revision: perhaps it’s more accurate to say everything’s a struggle. Sleep comes uneasily, if at all. The desirable motion becomes one of hibernation and isolation.
The work gets done — of course it does — and sometimes it comes surprisingly easy. The words still flow despite the morass. Other times, the words reflect the internal condition. They eke, slither into existence. One sentence, delete, rewrite, delete, try again. Over and over, day after day.
The slog. That isn’t the worst of it; the worst resides in a desire to hide away from God. The pressure to work mounts, to get all the things done, and the need to spend time with God diminishes.
The call still flickers, though. It whispers to the slog-laden spirit, and, if the spirit quickens to the second definition of the verb “slog,” it comes. It fights for the daily breaks and daily bread. The spirit cries out for help. It confesses the loneliness and exhaustion.
Every slog-ridden day the spirit hits forcefully. It does not, however, hit wildly. No, it takes aim. It makes a decision about what is most important, and what is most important is always, always God and growing closer to him. Because of that, it stays the course. It commits to the daily work and the life work and pushes through all those slog days.
Image: Death to the Stock Photo