Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Turning Deadlines into Lifelines

Since publishing my latest book, I seem to have more deadlines than I did when I was writing it. Writing Glorious Autumn Days: Meditations for the Wisdom Years, was the joyful and fun part of the creativity; promoting and selling the book is the work part of the process.

My deadlines include keeping my website up to date. Here I can promote my book and, in order to entice people to visit often, I change various pages to keep it current. Next, I send out review copies of my book to relevant publications and I spend time searching for appropriate magazines and newspapers; my deadline in this instance is to find at least six such publications every couple of weeks. The third deadline I have is to write for this blogspot every few weeks as scheduled, exercising my brain to think of a suitable topic on which to write and making sure that I put it on to the site on time. I also write talks for speaking engagements related to my book.

These are some of my deadlines and, indeed, they could take the life out of me if I let them. However, I prefer to see them as lifelines as they continue to put life into my book. They invite those who read my web pages or reviews to buy my book and read further about God’s love for us and the Divine gift of spiritual life.

Yes, the deadlines are work but they are cause for thanksgiving and, if I see them as such, I can name them lifelines. The word deadline reminds me of the straight line, with its accompanying monotone, on a patient’s bedside monitor that indicates the person’s death. The word lifeline reminds me of the path on which God leads me into spiritual life and light.

At this time of year, I see earth’s creatures all around me meeting their goals, and there is not a hint of death in their activities—all rush toward life. The birds have returned from their winter homes and, in the few short weeks allotted to them, they mate, build nests, lay eggs, hatch and fledge a family, bring them to maturity and prepare them to return to their southern homes. No one makes them do this; they know it has to be done and they do it whole heartedly bringing their lives to fulfillment. For the plants, it is the same thing; they push up from the winter ground as soon as the snow has gone; they bud, blossom, come to fruition and spread their seeds for next year’s cycle of life.

Deadlines suggest anxiety and force; lifelines suggest joy and responsibility. The next time I think of the things I need to get done as deadlines I will make the effort to change their name into lifelines. This will be to my benefit and to God’s glory.

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