Thursday, 11 March 2010

In the Intersection

Shannon looked at me yesterday when I got home and said, “why don’t you go write tomorrow night?”

This is huge.

Neil’s typical daily routine:

4am: alarm
4:30am-5:30am: exercise
5:30am-6:30am: shower/make coffee, smoothie, lunch. Kiss Shannon. Kiss the kids.
6:30am: leave for work.
7:30am-4:00pm: work
5pm: arrive home
5pm-8pm: dinner, being a dad
8pm-9:30pm: Shannon time (usually a movie or a tv show)
9:30pm: Bed

This merely to illustrate how much time I, who consider myself a writer, have to write. This isn’t a pity party. It’s just the way it is. I have a wife. I have kids. I have a job. I have a long commute. I have a doctor who tells me to exercise so I’ll live past 40.

Sure I have time at work to write. But at work I’m writing for work—AM show scripts, group leader segments, late nite games. Not anything for me. But again, that’s okay because it’s my job and I’m good at it.

So if I ever want to write anything for myself (or you, my five faithful readers), it’s at the expense of the above-mentioned commitments.

So when Shannon says, “why don’t you go write tomorrow night?” It’s a pretty big deal. I get excited.

But also nervous. Cause now there’s pressure to produce something in these precious, worth their weight in gold, five hours I have been gifted. I go somewhere reasonably cool with interesting things and people to look at (new and unexpected visuals cause creative stimulation). I make a playlist of dramatic/epic music. I sit down and hope to God something happens. I solve my Rubik’s Cube eight or nine times.

And lo, God answers the hopes and makes something happen. The second act of a screenplay I’ve been stuck on for eight months breaks. Three new blog topics pop out.

Everything happens in His time. I know that. I know He orchestrates events: things I’ve seen and read, Shannon’s subtle observation of when I need a night, a badly needed phone call. But I think we forget it. How else to explain the constant surprise at God showing up in our lives and making things happen? Be it the Red Sea or a plot point, I feel the rustle in my heart as the Pneuma moves to orchestrate events, and I am surprised. I am surprised that He hasn’t forgotten me, hasn’t abandoned me. And my surprise turns to gratefulness.

Later it might become guilt over my lack of faith. But tonight I’ve got my foot on the brake pedal, hanging out in this intersection of surprise and gratefulness. It’s clear to me that God and I meet here regularly in this intersection, where His plan is the road, what He does and who He made me to be are the colliding cars, and this keyboard the blinking traffic light.

Shannon says as long as there’s nothing else going on, there’s no reason this can’t be a regular event. Shannon rules.