I took two semesters of college poetry, and in those excruciating months of the hardest classes I’ve ever taken, I took only one thing away; make your writing concrete. Use words to associate the emotions that you are wanting to evoke, make the feelings real for your readers. This has trained me to seek the concrete in my life surroundings too, and it has seeped its way into my prose and articles as well.
How do we know that the path that we’re on in life, the road we’ve been taking is exactly where we’re supposed to be? This is something that I have struggled with, especially lately. How do I know what is right and wrong, and how do I know I’m where I’m supposed to be? Where is my concrete?
I wonder sometimes if I’m on the wrong path, if I misinterpret the “signs” I feel God’s sending me, and I miss my opportunities. Should I submit my book to this agent or that? Will this publisher have good news, or not? Am I supposed to be focusing on something else for a while, or hitting the bricks with my manuscript in hand, being persistently adamant that this book is to be published? Am I needed somewhere else and just being too selfish or ignorant, missing where I am needed most?
Without hearing a word from God, having it recorded for me to play over and over to reassure myself that the instructions I heard are exactly how I heard them, I will never know. And this is where faith comes in. I don’t know that where I am in my walk is where I need to be. All I know is that it is where I am. Where I’m going and where I’m supposed to be are things I can’t think about. If I look out too far ahead, I’ll miss the things around me that I am supposed to see. I am not lost, God knows where I am at all times. He watches me fail, he watches me linger and stray, but I am always on his radar.
I feel that God has a plan for me and when I drift away from it, I start to see things in a darker light. I wonder if I’m experiencing bad things because I missed a turn, and perhaps God is tapping me on the shoulder and whispering “Pssst, this way”. Perhaps I don’t notice his tapping, his whispers and quiet tugs and so he has to get louder. He could end up shouting at me, placing me into positions where I can see him plainly; the death of a loved one, an accident that affects people around me, or a simple question from an innocent child. My husband and I often muse that God is speaking to us to bring us closer to him and where we’re supposed to be.
Does God talk to you? Does he shout in your ear and you ignore him? How do you feel that he guides you?
When I visualize what negativity is, like my poetry professor said to do, I see myself filling up with the negative comments and actions around me. I can see the beauty of my soul tarnishing ever so slightly with each bad thing that I let get to me. The jagged crooked rocks of disbelief lodge themselves securely beside the glass shards of regret and they grind against my self worth and chip away at my determination. The pile builds and builds, reaching finally to the tip of my throat, and are spewed forth into those around me. Those people would be the ones that I love, who I surround myself with to make myself find the positive again, the light that exudes from the innocence of blind faith.
Being concrete in my writing is all that I can do to get closer to hearing what he has to tell me again. He is the master mason, perhaps he molds the road just before I get to that critical junction. I’m sure I’ve rode the shoulder before, and probably have been in the ditch a couple of times, but I always seem to find the concrete road again.
I have a concrete faith.