Recently I have begun reading the Gunslinger by Stephen King. I have started this novel several times in the course of my 38 years and for whatever reason every time I get side tracked. The thing is it’s a great story, well written I like the characters, as usual King keeps me entertained and tapping, I no longer really turn pages, I just never have finished the story.
The last time I started these books was three years ago about this time, actually I was listening to them as audio books. The story had me riveted but things happened and I had to put a marker in the story for a while. When I was able to get back to it I realized that I didn’t really remember enough, nor did I want to start all over again. Then I just lost interest for a while, or decided I didn’t want to visit the events surrounding the beginning of that aural odyssey.
Now I’ve come back to Gilead again and I’m realizing a few things. Roland has such a dedication and purpose abut him in the first book. He is constantly moving forward, chasing after the bad guy, not letting anything or anyone stand in the way of his purpose. As I read this I realize that while there are times this can be desired and even commended, there are also times that this can be a bad thing.
Dedication is important, especially when it comes to what we were made to be. Calling is an integral part of not just contentment but happiness, and everyone is called to something. I believe everyone is made for a purpose that is only their purpose and no one else’s, or maybe I just want to believe that because it makes life so much more fulfilling and meaningful. The point is that going after these things, realizing our calling, following our hearts and minds to the place that will make us content and happy is an important part of life. I think we all need to have that sense of direction, without it we just wander aimlessly which can and will end badly. Still there is a point that this has to be set aside, and it’s more than a balance issue, or even a mandate for rest.
I believe there are times we need to actively set aside what we are, who we are and even what we were called to. I don’t mean that we forget our calling, I don’t mean that we run away from it. What I do mean is that we count the cost and realize that stepping away from something and letting it rest for a while makes it all the better, all the sweeter and all the more important when we return to it.
I like to make bread, and by all accounts I’m pretty good at it. I have learned a few things about it though. I can rush a loaf of bread and get okay results. Less kneading, not as much raise time, or only let it raise once. When I do this it’s still okay, people still like it, but when I’m patient, when I set it aside, when I actively leave it alone for the time I should, the result is even better.
I believe it’s the same way with life. When I leave something for a time, and evaluate, and pray, and live life with my family. When I step away for a bit the return many times leads to new ideas and insights into who I am and what I am and what God has designed for me.
I almost think it should be mandatory at some point in everyones life that they take a step back take a break from their vocation and find out what the next step truly is.