You know it when you hear it. It’s the subject that catches in your throat or hurls an extra pump of blood through your constricting veins. It’s that thing that, perhaps, you have planted a flag on-raised an army or a microphone, and made known your intention to own. You speak of it, weep over it, gather believers to it, and then fight for it.
Or maybe it paralyzes-a parcel of land up high where the snow falls and trees don’t grow but there you stand, flag in hand looking up steep. Unsure. Oh, the blood surges the same and inside something gets floored into that space that knows it could be important for you. It could be the kind of important that wakes you up clear after a dreamless sleep.
You have it. You were made for it. What other hands but human can shelter a motherless child? What other mind can conceive a way to split atoms and send vehicles hurtling through space at speeds formally reserved for casual conversation? How can a trafficked girl fight her own way out of emotional and physical bondage to safety?
And I just don’t know anything but what is spoken by wisdom to listening ears.
I heard it from this woman recently-that yanking on a small thread can lead you to places where a need meets a gift. One little tug and the unravelling begins. And the only thing to be said about unravelling is that it extends a thread beyond the spool.
Sometimes I’m wound tight.
Even a tentative pulling of thread can mean the difference between fear and faith. What is faith but acting on evidence of something you may not be able to see? So you unravel self doubt and weighty worlds and take up the thread. You pull cautious because maybe you are willing to unravel slow.
And that is where your road takes direction-in the first tug. Go on, follow it a ways. Bring your family along. It’s safe for your kids to walk into the unknown with you. After all, you will probably need them to remind you that walking on pavement is ok, but tackling uneven terrain will bring a blush to your cheeks and extra oxygen that is the food of strength.
Your heartbeat quickens at the mention of that one thing. I know, it’s too big to think about and you are too small to make a difference. You know that you don’t have what it takes to end human hunger or write the next great American novel. And no, these ends are likely not in your control. But one thing you can do today is swing your feet over the side of the bed and write a sentence or two. Then tomorrow maybe write a few more.
One thing you can do today is pull up an extra chair to your table. Then tomorrow invite someone to sit there. The spool begins to unravel and before you know it you’ve learned the name of that woman in your son’s preschool class that won’t look anyone in the eye. And you know that hunger has many faces.
We are responsible for our days, this day, and none other. You don’t need a plan, you just need a start.