Every day I look at the blank page on my computer screen. The cursor blinks, hypnotically, like a windshield wiper in the rain.
I’m trying to be a writer. Not to be published, or famous, or rich. I’m trying to be who I am, which isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds. Words are an important part of my identity, my paintbrush, my chisel, my hammer.
And the only thing more stubborn than that blinking cursor is the rainbow of excuses that come flooding through me every day. What do I want to say? Is anyone ever going to read this? Is it any good? What time does Game of Thrones start? How can I be hungry, I just ate?
When it comes down to living the kind of life we want, there are two, and only two, elements necessary. I’m not talking about what is necessary for worldly success or notoriety. I haven’t found either of those. Someone else is writing that blog. I’m talking about living out of our Kingdom Identity, doing and being the unique creature we are, spinning the kaleidoscope of dreams and passions and longings with mature awe and childlike joy.
The first necessary ingredient is ability. Can I do this?
I look at these blank pages every day and I know, somewhere deep down, that I am capable. But every single day, I have to go through the process of reminding myself this is true. It’s like striking out the Yankees lineup every day – there are some heavy hitters there.
I use all my favorite sabotage techniques – comparison, sloth, performance, victim mentality – to tell myself that I can’t do it because people won’t like it or because I’m too busy. I’m out of things to say. Other writers are better. I’ve got bills to pay. Blah. Blah. Blah.
The deep truth is that we are all capable of being who God created us to be. If we aren’t, who the hell else would be? We can. We can! 2 Peter tells us that God has given us everything we need for godliness. He has wired us for identity. The machine might be rusty. The giant might be asleep. The blood of our wounds might be thick and constricting. But the ability to be uniquely us never leaves.
Which brings us to part two. The second thing necessary for living my identity is willingness. That’s it. That is all it takes.
This is a harder one to avoid. What I try to do is push it back over to the ‘can’ question. I try to make myself a victim of my own willingness. I hold myself hostage by something I have the ability to change. It’s absurd.
So, I stare down that cursor and I know that I can. Will I? It seems like if I am capable, willingness should be easy. Of course, I’m afraid I might fail. I’m afraid I will be exposed. But I am also terrified of not trying, aware that true failure is not the making of mistakes but the unwillingness to attempt. To keep the baseball metaphor alive, if I never step up to the plate, I can’t strike out. But I also can’t ever hit a home run. I’ll never know the joys without risking the sorrows.
This brings me to my moment of truth. If these are indeed the two ingredients necessary for me to achieve the exercising of identity, there are only four reasons I would not currently be engaged.
First, I can’t and I won’t. If God is to be believed, this cannot be the case. The second option is I will but I can’t. The ability is within each of us. Perhaps I need some training or some encouragement, but with these remedied, I am back on my way.
This leaves a third option: I can but I won’t. Entirely possible. The last is I can and I will, which is, clearly, where we want to be.
Once I figure out which of these quadrants I am in, I can move forward, assessing the reasons why I am where I am (awareness) and formulating a plan to move forward into a better place (governance).
My cursor is blinking. There are blank pages ahead of me, waiting to be filled. There are words. There are things to say. And there is me, fighting my way into the heart of who I am. The excuses are plentiful. The distractions are bright and shiny. But the ingredients are within my grasp. Nobody is going to do it for me. My moment of truth has arrived.