You may have noticed that I haven`t blogged in a while. I really enjoy writing but I find it super hard. Or at least I find publishing hard. Writing is fairly natural once I get myself to sit down at the keyboard and ignore the urges for some Facebook scrolling.
So I`ve been reading. A bunch of stuff. In the last couple of weeks I`ve read:
The Shock of the Fall – Nathan Filer
Silence & Beauty – Makoto Fujimura
The Message of Discipleship – Peter Morden
The Living Mountain – Nan Shepherd
The only thing these books have in common is that they’re books. But for me that`s enough to get me writing again. I read because I love reading. But I also read to write.
And the same is true of walking. When time and distance aren`t too much of a factor, walking is my favourite mode of transport. Among other reasons, because walking helps me work.
I was recently asked what my favourite way to relax is. Since living in Japan, my number one answer has become `onsen.` And number two is walking. Proper walking. Getting out into the hills, make sure to bring something to eat, don`t-forget-your-raincoat type walking. I know there`s some science about blue skies prompting creativity, and no doubt fresh air and exercise does wonders for the circulatory and what-not systems, but what I know for sure is that after a good walk I am ready to work.
Last weekend I went up two of the Yorkshire Three Peaks(Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent). The weather was classically British and mostly overcast, which is to say the views were still spectacular. And as a bonus, I finished reading Shock of the Fall on the car ride back.
And then last week I just got a lot of stuff done. Including some writing, and more impressively for me some admin.
You might be the same. Or you might be one of those strange folk who find admin empowering. Maybe the way you recharge is by baking (if so, can I give you my address?) or wood carving, or going for a drive, or [fill in blank]. But I think we all face the pressure to keep giving without taking the time to receive.
There are no doubt the occasional times when we have to just push on and grind through. But as I start to plan my return to Japan this Autumn and think about how crazy busy I got during my last four years there, I am increasingly convinced that if I am really going to give myself to the Japanese church, I am going to need to first receive grace to face the grit. I am going to need to read in order to write, and I am going to walk to work.
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