Wednesday, June 15, 2011

#Trust30: Choose Your Own Adventure

Because today’s official #Trust30 prompt would essentially cause me to re-publish something I already wrote, I have chosen my own quote to work from:

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson 

I am not a patient woman. This, I believe, is one of the hurdles I have been given to overcome.

When I was very young, I wanted to learn to read. My mother, fearing that if she taught me I would be bored when I started school, refused to teach me. Instead, she promised that I would learn this treasured skill from my teacher. After my first day of school, I came home and complained irritably that the teacher hadn’t taught me to read yet.

When I became a Christian, one of the first things my fellow believers told me was to never pray for patience. Apparently, asking for patience is the same as asking for tribulation – see Job for more details on that. Since I didn’t want to lose everything and suffer from one heck of a case of the shingles, I took their advice.

I have learned the most patience since choosing to pursue a career as a writer. For me, writing novels is similar to nature’s seasons:

Spring = A new idea sprouts, along with a number of weeds (weak or bad ideas).
Summer = I carefully nurture the good idea, growing it a little each day. I let the weeds grow alongside; I don’t want to disturb the growth of the flourishing idea.
Autumn = I harvest my idea, which has grown into a novel. I sift through the novel to be sure I’ve removed as many weeds as I can see, casting the weeds into the “delete” bin, before sending it off to market – or in this case, Inknbeans Press.
Winter = I allow myself a fallow season. During that time, I plant as many seeds as I can and wait for the next new idea to sprout.

Though I may never master patience, I have at least learned to take life and my work in stride. For a little girl who couldn’t wait to learn to read, that’s progress.


  1. Great article Susan. I loved it. Very inspirational. I love your seasons of Writing. Somehow, I can't get over the Christian philosophy behind not asking God for Patience? Doesn't he want you to be happy? Doesn't he want you to be successful? why would God pass judgement on you for asking for patience? Noticing your weakness isn't something God would punish you for? I swear, some times these people make no sense. Sorry if I offended you. Not meaning to. Just curious. Some times, people forget to question even their own religion. I live by the motto, question everything.

  2. Roger, the idea behind not asking for patience is that the best way to learn patience is through an abundance of challenges. It's not actually written in the Bible that way -- that's just how Christians tend to interpret it. Is a lack of patience a real roadblock to happiness or success? I don't think so.

    I'm not offended, by the way. I came to Christianity as an adult (late 20s) after reading the Gospel of Mark. Once I converted, I read the entire Bible in the space of a year because I couldn't say I believed with my whole heart until I knew for myself -- not just according to some minister -- what was in there.


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