Sometimes I wish books would write themselves!

It's Monday. And for whatever reason, I had a hard time concentrating and coming up with the next scene in my current work-in-progress. I understand the sentiment so many writers feel when they say they would rather "have written" than actually write. Though most of the time, I enjoy the writing process. Some days, words are thin and far apart. I am happy to report that I finally found over 1500 of them. (My daily word count.) The book is coming along - at least the first draft. I've been reading Proverbs lately and am surprised at how much I have forgotten since I read it last. It's been too long. Solomon truly had God's wisdom, and as I read it I can see more clearly some of the meaning behind his statements. How much trouble we would save ourselves if we adhered to its wisdom! I especially like these verses that I read the other day, "Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion." (Proverbs 18:1-2 ESV)

"Whoever isolates himself..." I don't think this is talking about natural introversion and the need for personal space or downtime. I'm an introvert, and that just means that I get more energy from some downtime each day than I do from a roomful of people. But introverts do have to be careful not to become isolated. There is truth in Solomon's words. Too much time by ourselves can mean we're just doing what we want rather than seeking out other people and how we can be of service to them, to bless them.

Jesus talked about caring for the widow and the orphan and visiting those who are sick or in prison. That's not isolation. That's reaching out to people in need. And that's a good thing.

This idea reminded me of my dad and our visits with him in the nursing home. Dad was one of the lucky ones to have family who visited and cared for him. So many of those people have no one. They are dropped off and forgotten, waiting to die. And I wonder how their families, if they have any, can abandon them like that. In those places, people are forced into isolation, except for the aides and nurses who care for them. How very sad.

Of course, thinking about my dad made me miss him again. In April he would have been 90. I know, a good long life. But when it is someone you love, life is never long enough. My mom and dad would have been married 70 years this year. Two milestones Daddy wanted to meet, but God had other plans. Sure do wish I could see what he's seeing now. But I digress...

Those proverbs I quoted above, particularly that last verse about fools taking no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing their opinions - I know people like that. Actually, I think the part about expressing my own opinions is something I have to guard against myself. Not that I can't have an opinion or share it now and then. Just that sometimes it takes discernment to know when it is time to speak and time to refrain from speaking.

It is easy to see the flaws in everyone else, isn't it? But when I catch myself doing that, I also try to point those fingers back at me and ask God if I do the same. Pondering such truth is how we grow. I want to be one who was willing to listen and learn and gain wisdom in the process. That takes diligence and discipline to keep seeking even when we don't easily find.

Kind of like looking for words to my WIP when they are thin and far apart, like trying to grasp those wispy puffs of pollen and hold them in your hand. Not impossible, but some days far harder than others!

But like writing a book, growing a heart that loves wisdom and truth and Jesus above all else is a constant work-in-progress.