23 November 2011

Processing vs Ignoring

Recently a friend of mine gave me a writing assignment. My friend (one that wishes to be anonymous) challenged me to find 3 or 4 of my other well read friends and have them read something I penned in 10 minutes or less. I was told to find folks who would be honest with me, something I am happy to say is not difficult. My friends, God love them and so do I, are nothing if not honest. My task included and asking them to tell me if, after reading three or four paragraphs of something I'd assembled in haste, they would put the book down or turn the page and continue reading. I am all things curious so I took the challenge. Two out of three of my friends said they would continue reading. Reporting back to the friend issuing the challenge I was curious what their response would be and what point they were attempting to make. I wasn't prepared for their answer.

"I hate your guts."

My friend doesn't really hate me, of this I am confident. Armed with that assurance I was able to ask him/her why he/she hated me and what the point of this exercise had been.

"I hate you because unlike you I have to work at writing. I craft each sentence. I am an engineer and you, you just vomit words on a page and people like it." Eww, vomit words on a page? That sounded lovely. Now before you think I am taking up time and space on my blog to brag about my writing prowess, let me tell you where our conversation ultimately ended up.

My friend rightfully pointed out to me that I lack discipline in all areas of my life and for them it was a source of anger and bitterness. "If you would pay the slightest heed to your craft, your gift, you wouldn't take it for granted. You squander what God has given you and have the temerity to envy those who have gained skill, recognition and ability through discipline."

Ouch. I am struck through the heart and my flaws exposed bare. On a roll my friend continued with examples of how my lack of discipline has impacted my life. Then came the blow that was hard to ignore. "You are afraid of failure, afraid of intimacy, afraid to try, afraid to succeed, you are afraid to do anything but sit and watch your life go by and then bellow about the injustices. You're so full of self-pity there is no room for anything else. Quit lamenting about not having discipline and get off your dead butt and build it. You have to work for it. The discipline fairy isn't coming with a magic wand. Oh and if you pout over me telling you this, I am going to smack you. Hard."

So much for warm fuzzies.

My friend is not wrong and his/her correction was not harsh. Well, it was but only the truth of it was hard, not the delivery. I do envy my friend's abilities. I do think too much of myself. I am lazy and a bad steward. My friend was the second person in a week to point out to me that I have intimacy issues. Now the question for me is what to do with this new insight. I can't pout. I'll get hit. Hard.

I am not pouting or ignoring our conversation. I am processing it.

Proverbs 27:6

Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.


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