Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Create and Build

by Faith St. Clair


Throw a dice, a dart or a penny in a pond, but it won’t matter. Nine times out of ten, we’ll take the easy route. If there’s chocolate vs. bean sprouts or TV vs. scriptures or sitting with a bowl of ice cream vs. running that mile, I think we’re pretty predisposed to shirking what we know is better for us. Even developing the talents we’ve been given fade into the background of our efforts as we scurry around our mazes in busy work. What is that called? Satan?

Why is sit so easy to be bad and so hard to be good? Now I know most of you are reading this thinking that I’m devil-spawn. I know you’re thinking, “What kind of slacker to we have here? I never eat chocolate, watch TV or sit down. I’m in top spiritual, physical and emotional shape. My house is sterile yet homey, my husband handsome and supportive, my children focused and pure, my spirituality strong and sharing, my talents honed and productive.” Well, to those sisters in the world I say, “Give me your number; I can make you millions on the inspirational speaking circuit!” To the rest of us, I’m still wondering why we lack so. I know we don’t dodge our duties and efforts, but I do know we always feel like we fall short. I think that’s Satan’s way of tearing us down and keeping us from building up.

At ANWA’s writing conference this past weekend, Tristi Pinkston talked about how creativity is used to build things to honor God. The opposite of creating/building, is destroying. God builds, Satan destroys. See, I was right, that Hershey kiss is Satan wrapped in foil – how symbolic is that? He foils us all the time! Getting back to my point, aren’t we destroying ourselves and sometimes those around us, if we’re not eating right, exercising, strengthening ourselves spiritually and growing the gifts we’ve been given? The obvious answer is, yes.

So the next time you pull those warm cinnamon rolls from the oven and dress them with silky, sweet-creamed icing, remember there is Satan in the swirl. The next time you walk past your running shoes, remember you’re destroying a better you. When your scriptures remain closed, remember God is waiting to strengthen you. And when you haven’t written anything today, remember the Adversary is in the blank page before you – destroying that which you are trying to build.

Our odds of creating are greatest with God’s strength.

4 comments:

  1. Ouch. Guilt grower extraordinaire, but point well taken. I did exercise this morning but I still have four loads of laundry to slosh through.

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  2. You make several points that shot straight to my heart, Faith. I love your closing comment. I am grateful to know that God's strength is always there, just for the asking.

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  3. Hmmm, I keep thinking like Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager...I'm going to have my cake and eat it too. And join the inspirational lecture route when I figure it out.

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  4. Yep, all those should-do's you talked about have been on my to-do list for about as long as I can remember. I've planned to make every movement, every bite, every challenge count. I've read scriptures for an hour each day for maybe a week at a time. Every now and then I've turned the TV off so I won't be distracted from my writing. (Well, except for uplifting things like BYUTV Scripture study, devotionals, The Spoken Word, and Conference or maybe I do a little knitting while I watch "The Price is Right" or re-runs of old favorites) Once, I even went ten whole months without any form of chocolate, and quite regularly I plan to give it up forever. (Well, that is after this last bag of chocolate nuggets is gone) and I'll polish and submit my novel as soon as I finish reading the books I just bought at the book signing.

    Oh, the comfort it brings to hear someone in authority say it's the wishes of the heart and the direction of travel that moves us slowly toward our desired goal. I'm far from arriving there, but as I look back, I think I see progress. And I still love to be prodded.

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