It’s been a while.
Yes, I know.
It’s not as though I haven’t been writing anything. I write a lot. And I do it constantly. Perhaps unfortunate for some, another of my blogs is getting most of my free-form attention.
Since I’m making excuses for my absence, another of my reasonable pleas is that I’ve recently begun a doctoral program. Although, it hasn’t been as burdensome as I expected. I suppose that’s only because I’ve discovered I can take in a lot of information—and write even more—in a brief period. For example, I read fourteen books and wrote twenty-one papers in the first fifteen days of the current subterm, accomplishing all eight weeks of work for two courses in a little more than two weeks. I set a schedule and then hunkered down. The original plan I’d written had me finishing in five weeks. I soon learned that my inner cravings had a much swifter pace in mind. I gladly surrendered to its desires. Doing so allowed the rest of my regular life and its schedules to be managed—and perhaps even enjoyed—more comfortably.
In one sense, steering directly into the intense storm of labor—a storm that cannot be avoided in certain circumstances—is always best. Procrastinating or deferring only makes the possibility of calmer seas beyond the tempest that much harder to envision as reachable.
Do it. Get about the business of wrestling with the winds and waves. And give it all you’ve got. The sooner you do this, the sooner you’ll be hoisting sails in the sunshine, enjoying the more tranquil seas of leisurely manageability.
One of my favorite handlers of the written word, Stephen King, once said of other writers, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration. The rest of us just get up and go to work.” King’s advice serves any field. Observe the oncoming challenge. Deliberate, but don’t procrastinate. Get to work. Prepare, set a course, and launch. It might be the worst plan in the world. Still, at least you’ll learn it was the worst plan because you’ll be out on the water fighting toward your goal. You’ll turn the rudder and aim for a better course. With each adjustment, you’ll receive success in tiny doses until, finally, you drift into quieter waters.
I’m sure some are reading this and already being anchored by “It’s easier said than done.” Exactly. It is easier said than done, which is why Thomas Sowell once said something like, “The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings.” Sayers like to talk about doing. They’ll spend inordinate amounts of time talking about efficiency, productivity, and other such things. In the end, nothing is as inefficient or non-productive as never getting around to doing what needs to be done. Eventually, doers cut the chatter and get to doing.
I’m one to think that any reasonable challenge requires a single meeting with leadership. After that, all become the crew of a vessel that has likely already set sail. Each performs, and each will probably consult with others along the way. Let that be enough.
Now, before this becomes a motivational speech on work ethics, let me get to doing, which is to describe the Deanston Virgin Oak edition I just picked up at a shop in Port Charlotte, Florida. True to form, I wasted little time in the doing. As soon as I got home, I popped the cork. I spent even less time identifying and then swatting at the vinegared fumes released from the bottle.
This was somewhat surprising. I’ve never known a Deanston whisky to be so harsh from the bottle. Suffice it to say that a few minutes in the glass proved delightful, suggesting that the strengths of the citrus and malt, both of which can be imagined individually in the nosing, had somehow become a potent storm collecting beneath the cork and awaiting release.
A sip reveals somewhat of a sour bite, not necessarily unenjoyable, but rather more like a bitter coffee. There are other bits of success to be had with each swirl, swish, and savor, such as vanilla and spicy cola.
The finish is quite dry, leaving very little behind. What does remain—which seems a little bit like the nose’s citrus trying to cross over to the palate and being tinged along the way by spice—is a creative conclusion. Again, it is fast fleeting, but still noticeable and by no means unenjoyable. In fact, it would make an easy companion on board one’s vessel. Perhaps better, it would serve well in the pocket flask of any doer trapped in a meeting filled with sayers.
Of course, as a pastor, I’m not saying I’ve done this. Remember, I don’t consider myself a sayer.