“All the rivers flow into the sea, Yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, There they flow again.”Ecclesiastes 1:7 AMP
So funny story, I drowned myself today. I promise I’m good and breathing now. Plus, I meant it more metaphorically than literally. I was drowning in the pressure of studying and the dreaded writer’s block. You see, my mom helps me to stay accountable with studying by giving me and my sisters word Bible topics. She had given this month’s word and it was Abide.
There were so many things to say about Abide in the Bible. So many ways to tell it. I was and still am very excited about this study. I got my scripture, the bullet points of I wanted to hit, and I even got examples. I just needed the perfect way to say what I wanted to say. So I opened a page and asked God to lay it out for me. Then I waited.
Music was playing and I started getting distracted. I was hungry too. But I was still looking at a blank document. “Anytime You’re ready, God. What’s the best way to write and start this topic?”
“Keep going.” He whispered.
“But I don’t have anything!”
“Keep going with your day.”
“I need to put something on before I move to another project or eat.” This is me saying this and noticed how I said “I needed to,” and not that this was something God wanted or told me to do. Yeah, I didn’t see that at the time.
“You have time. Plus you also need to work on your personal writing project.” God redirected. I agreed with that. So I kept going through my day. All the while, waiting for some big revelation for this study. Then as I was reading and researching for my personal writing project, God put a small story in my mind. A story of a doctor talking with a gardener.
The gardener was at the doctor’s office. The doctor jokingly asked if the gardener was there from playing in the dirt too much. The gardener just said it was for a check up. The doctor started and then began complaining about how his pond’s water fountain wasn’t flowing properly since the gardener was there.
The doctor tried putting more water in the fountain. That hadn’t worked. It just overwhelmed the pond. So now his garden was a mess and the fountain still wasn’t working. While the doctor was complaining, he struggled with the blood pressure machine. With a huff, the doctor pushed the machine away and did it manually. When he was done, the gardener spoke.
He talked about how forcing a fountain to flow will drown the surrounding area. A fountain’s job is to slowly move the water forward, wearing away the obstacle in its way while keeping the water moving so it could stay clean. Just because it flows a little doesn’t mean it’s not flowing. Just because the doctor had to manually get the data he needed, didn’t make the data useless. Then the gardener joked about how that was something he learned playing in the dirt.
That’s when it hit me. I put the pressure on myself to get the study done today, drowning myself in pressure, instead of focusing on the little I did. I had started the document, got my scriptures and definition, that’s a good start for a paper that doesn’t have a due date. Not only that, I got very far in my research for the personal writing project. I also ate a pretty good meal too.
Instead of praising God (and myself) for the small step I made, I sat around huffing and puffing, waiting and forcing an idea to come. I was being a Sarah (from the story Abraham and Sarah). Instead of thanking God for the small step, or how far I got along in my personal writing project (I did thank God for the food), I focused on that pressure. God didn’t do that to me, I did it to myself. I even read a devotional about being thankful and it went right over my head as I kept glancing at the tab holding the mostly blank study paper.
Maybe I was being like the doctor and Lot’s wife…OUCH! That hurt, but it’s true. I was so focused on something I was doing, looking back at what I had, I didn’t see or praise God for what He was doing. And in that, I was destroying myself with frustration and pressure.
So I let go of that expectation and repented. I turned to God and let Him lead, looking only forward. And guess what?
I still haven’t done the study paper.
But I started it and I thank God for that. I thank God that I found the necessary tools I needed for the research on my personal project. I thank God that I got to text my foster brother before he went to basic (Godspeed Thor Bro!). I thank God that I’m still moving forward.
So no matter where you are in life, and where you want to go, remember that God is with you. Right where you’re at. And He’s blessing you right now. Don’t drown yourself in pressure, ambition, guilt, doubt, or anything that isn’t love. Flow forward in gratitude (no matter how small), keep your eyes on God, and keep moving forward.