Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Leg Up

The horse standing before me turned its head as I gathered the reins in my hand. Perhaps it was my imagination, but the look in his eye seemed to say, "For Pete's sake, get in the saddle and let's go!" The large Paint had been saddled and ready for some time. There was only one problem. He had very long legs. I have very short legs. I looked for a bit of a slope to give me an advantage, but the ground was flat and there was nothing to stand on.

At that moment I remembered the first time I tried to get on a horse. It was a tall one too. (When you are barely over five feet tall, any horse looks big). I remember standing with the reins in my hand, wondering how I was going do it. A friend noticed and came along side. "Let me give you a leg up," she said.

"I can manage," I said, not wanting to appear a total novice. But after I made a couple of failed attempts, my friend offered to give me a "leg up" once more and I had to swallow my pride and accept her help. She explained how to do it and when I did what she instructed I was in the saddle in a flash.

As I stood staring up at that big Paint I realized I was at that place again and looked around for someone to give me a "leg up."

I've found myself in that place many times as a writer. I've often been discouraged and need a bit of help to get going again. We all know that writing is a solitary endeavor. No one can write that novel but you and it will take many hours alone with only your keyboard and monitor to keep you company. But there are many aspects of the writing life that can and should include team work. We can find a partner who will encourage and keep us accountable. We can seek out a critique group to help with the editing process and ask for help when we hit that wall called writers' block. We can illicit the help of friends to spread the word about our latest published work, and offer to reciprocate with theirs. "Help" is a word we should all become familiar with. God has given us a network of friends so that we may enter into the give and take that makes writing, and living, a joy.

He has also given us a spiritual family to help us along the way. He cautions us not to "forsake the fellowship" of one another. He knows we need one another more desperately than we like to admit. Most of us want to believe we can "manage" on our own but God knows we can't. Without the help of friends and family and spiritual leaders we would remain on the ground, unable to mount up and do what he requires of us. And He has also given us Himself, the greatest resource of all. He wants to help us do the work he has planned for us to do because it's all meant to glorify Him.

"I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth" (Psalm 121:1-2).

Is it time you looked around for someone to give you a "leg up?"

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