The hardest part of pursuing life as an artist is certainly focus.  We feel as if we were born to create and it’s always imperative to get it done when inspiration hits.  Sigh–it’s the day job that gets in the way sometimes.  So how do you endure until the wee hours after midnight to pursue your craft?

Simply put, you wait.  You have to focus on the task at hand, the same way you do when you’re painting the next masterpiece or composing a new song.  You already know spending “eight to ten in the pen” (hours in the cubicle) has a buzz-killing effect on inspiration.  Wait long enough, and you’ll be completely blocked once you finally have free time to create.  I’ve done that.  Sit down at the computer.  Type the word, “The”.  Yep, on some nights that’s all she wrote—quite literally.

On a beautiful day, it feels unbearable knowing mere yards away from your place of enslavement employment,  life is happening all around you!  Cars honk, buses and taxis buzz by, and pretty people are sipping lattes and eating attractive food at nearby cafes while you furiously attempt to meet deadlines imposed by others.  Wealthy execs are swinging the club on the greens during a working lunch, and others are sipping chardonnay while eating their tuna nicoise salads with friends before their redecorating appointment.   Playgrounds are a buzz with summer activity with moms and dads that are spending the day with them!

I just want to live!  If only I could live you think!  There has to be more than this in life!  You quickly remind yourself of the bills that demand you stay put, and the disaster that would ensue if you suddenly said, “take this job and…..”   Well you know the rest.

Moments like this call for super human mental strength!  They call for:

Sitzfleisch!

Sitzfleisch is German and means both these things simultaneously:

  1.  A person’s buttocks
  2. The ability to endure or persist at a task, to sit through or tolerate something boring.

Another way of saying it is, “Sit your butt down and get it done.”  Why do I hear the sound of a teacher’s voice in my head as I write this?

I know.  Work life can sap the life right out of you sometimes.  I’m trying these days to persist at writing–something I hope to eventually do professionally .  Right now is the hardest part.  This is the time that the discipline of practice and patience to persevere when you’d rather be doing other things is required.

See most of life is like this.  We’re over here wishing we were somewhere out there. 

Ain’t happening.  Nope.  We’re called to suck it up and deal. 

I have a favorite bible verse related to patience:

I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.  Psalm 40:1

This sentiment is nailed perfectly in the U2 song “40”.  How long, Lord?  How long?

How long must we endure a long day at a job that’s well…..ho-hum, but it pays the bills?

How long do we put up with an unbearable situation or injustice?

How long do we live not in “our truth” but in “others’ expectations of us?”

God may appear silent, but that doesn’t mean He’s unaware.  I’ve never known the answer to “How long?”  I only know the response is to be patient and endure at the task at hand.

  • Finish the job you are doing right here, right now, first!
  • Try and endure the hard thing that feels like it may swallow you with grace and prayer as you wait.

Being patient requires we release control of the situation.  Enduring our task demands that we cross the finish line.  We don’t quit or give up when our circumstances or our feelings seem hopeless.  We trust as the answers are still fleshing themselves out.

God rewards our faith and our patience.   Stand firm.  Have faith.  Finish what you start.      Your day will come.  Until then…..sitzfleisch!!

 

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Comments
  1. That passage certainly applies to writing….focus and patience are a must, and especially in the beginning, the rewards are few; without a plan of persistence, one would give up before even attempting to try. In regards to your writing, I must say that I am totally impressed. You might just have gotten started, but your writing is so brilliant that it won’t take long for it to be noticed. So, sitzfleisch (how could anyone conceive words with so many consonants??) and before you know it, you’ll be riding the wave. 🙂

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