“Do you not know? . . . Have you not heard? . . . those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40: 28-31
Those of us who have taken up the pen understand what a challenge it can be to capture the right words to describe, the best images to inspire, the perfect rhythm of a sentence. When our work is going well, we rejoice. Narrative, dialogue, and descriptive passages seem to flow from brain to paper — or at least to computer keys. At times like these, I feel that I no longer have both feet firmly on the floor. I revel in the sheer beauty of words. I feel bathed in a sea of sound.
The trouble is, euphoria is temporal. Left to its own devices, it doesn’t last. And eventually I not only have my feet on the ground once again, but they are very likely buried in the mud. What happened? I was riding the crest of a wave that reached its peak and crashed, tossing me head over heels into foaming surf and bruising wet sand.
It’s downright depressing when a writer loses momentum. It’s even more depressing to come to a sudden stop. Some call this writer’s block and turn away from their work. But I have been here before and I realize that the problem does not lie in lack of talent or the need to put aside my work for a time. It lies in a lack of focus.
And I ask myself some questions: From whence did my talent come? Am I remembering to give thanks for this gift? How long has it been since I rested in the Lord?
Then I open my Bible to the book of Isaiah and read passages about the valleys being lifted up, the wilderness bursting into bloom, streams of water in a thirsty land. The poetry of this book calms me and excites me . . . reassures me and challenges me. Finally, I come to what I now think of as the eagle verse. I read the words, and they are as new to me as if I’m reading them for the first time. They are as old as the mountains, and the skies, and the seas.
And I pick up my pen, or put my fingers on the keys, and I begin again, knowing that even if I grow weary, even if I stumble, I can always look forward to soaring with the eagles once more.
Contributed by Marilyn Donahue