I love to fly, although for the life of me I can’t figure out why. Other than the momentary rush of adrenaline that coincides with the moment that you actually part company with the ground, most of these trips are spent staring vacantly into the back of the seat in front of you, the only excitement being the arrival of the snack cart and hoping you don’t pitch your Diet Coke into the lap of the guy in the business suit snoring away in the next seat. Beyond that, there isn’t much to get excited about.
The only thing that breaks up the boredom and provides a thrill, however momentary, is the occasional bout of turbulence; you know, where the plane hits a bit of wind or rough air and jostles you about, creating an uncomfortable silence in the unwarranted (but very real) anticipation of screaming downwards to certain, fiery death. Turbulence has a way of shaking up the mundane. You never know when it’s coming, it may be mild, or it may cause the craft to take an unearthly plunge that causes you to begin making all kinds of deals with God that you both know will be abandoned the moment things straighten out again.
But you have to admit, the turbulence does make the ride infinitely more interesting. It’s not something we welcome, and in extreme cases it can make for some rather unfortunate results, but it is unavoidable and serves to stir the puddin’ from time to time.
So it is with life. Many of us, this author included, tend to get our knickers in a twist when things in life go awry, but the other option is going through life staring at the back of the seat in front of us, which we have already established as ten of the most boring activities you’ll ever know. Turbulence in our lives, those unforeseen, unpredictable shakeups that turn everything on its ear and make us look at life differently should be looked at healthily, as a welcome diversion from mediocrity.
I’m no Biblical scholar, but Scripture tells us to “count it all joy” when troubles come our way, because the testing produced through such produces character, deepens faith, and strengthens resolve. For those of us in the arts, it also makes for incredible moments of inspiration….just look at the number of movies, books, and songs based on love lost through heartache, separation, or death.
Life has sometimes been referred to as everything that happens on the way to our goals. Reaching a goal is nice, to be sure, but often the trip getting there is far more interesting. The unexpected twists, turns, and drops that we encounter shape us, making us who we are and defining our lives, dreams, personalities, expectations, and even talents.
If you’re reading this, then chances are that you are a writer of some sort, like me. Unless you have lived life, then you aren’t going to have much to write about. And spending your days staring at the back of the seat in front of you doesn’t exactly make for much in the way of inspiration. Every bump in the road deepens us a little more, better defines us as people, and for the writer, provides a font of inspiration to draw from.
Learn to find opportunity in the storms of your life. That doesn’t mean we wish disaster upon ourselves or anything of the sort, but sometimes just enough turbulence to keep things interesting can make for good things in our lives. It’s really a simple process……live it, learn from it, and then put it on paper in some form for the rest of us.
Now go therefore and write well…..