For the past couple of years, life has battered my husband and me. We've held onto the rails and cried for relief. My creativity took a beating along with the reality me.
When we are plagued with problems and our focus is scattered, it's difficult, almost impossible to lose ourselves in our work. I read The Artist's Way many years ago and put into practice the recommendations--morning pages and Artist Dates, although not consistently and not nearly often enough.
Sometimes we feel we're too busy to take time out for something that is not immediately productive. Martin Luther said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” My morning pages are my prayer and a necessity for productivity.
Recently, through my prayer morning pages, I realized I've been getting it wrong. Often I've heard it said God should be the center of our lives. No, not the center. God should be our lives. And that makes my words a prayer, my words a connection, my words a reflection--be it words written or spoken. God works in us, through us; he hems us in and goes before. He is our all in all.
In The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron speaks of synchronicity or meaningful coincidences. And this happened to me. A week or so ago, my son watched a short Queen bio. I've never been a big fan of the song "Under Pressure." However, I caught an earworm watching the bio. The song played over and over in my head until I decided to download the song from Amazon Music. And yet, I still didn't pay much attention to the words.
That is until my husband and I were watching a television show and "Under Pressure" was featured. We had on Closed Captioning and I looked at hubby, who has heard me blasting the song from our stereo for a week now. He smiled at me and tears streamed down my cheeks.
These are the words I read: "And love dares you to change our way of caring about ourselves."
I realized perhaps I've been thinking too small. Perhaps there's a bigger dream for me than I've dared dream before.
And also from the song was this line: "Can't we give ourselves one more chance?" Having a stroke has brought home to me, more than ever, that our lives are short, and we must redeem the time.
And I began to think of the title "Under Pressure," and a Bible verse came to mind.
(G)ive, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. ~ Luke 6:38
Pressed down? Under pressure? We will receive God's blessings that have been pressed down and continue to run over, and God will pour them into our lap. Under pressure is not such a bad thing. Perhaps when we are under pressure, we, too, will run over and fully give ourselves to others, understanding their pain and their struggles, and that ties into another line from the song--And love dares you to care for the people on the edge of the night.
Perhaps the pain of the last few years was to make me into a better artist, one who will help those people on the edge of the night, as I allow myself to be filled by the grace of God, under pressure.