The Web is full of admonitions to stretch before working out or engaging in any kind of exercise. Why? The plusses are many:
- Stretching helps prevent injuries.
- It keeps your muscles in good working order.
- Tight muscles are less capable.
- It just makes you feel good.
Plus, if you stretch first you’re less likely to have to listen to your wife laugh (under her breath, of course) while you’re on the chiropractor’s table.
And who hasn’t enjoyed a good shoulder stretch after hours of hammering away at the keyboard?
Lately, I’ve been doing some serious stretching in my writing/editing life. For just over a year, I’ve served as the editor for a new print magazine for American Christian Fiction Writers, the ACFW Journal.
We have a great team pulling this together (and we’re having a great time, too), but I am being stretched, particularly in the areas of organization and time management. As we enter our second year, even more stretching will be required.
Which, since I’ve also launched a freelance editing business (right here at WritingOnTheFineLine.com) and have just started doing some editing for one of my favorite publishing houses, is adding to my feeling like Stretch Armstrong.
I have to plan, write, and schedule three posts a week for this blog, under a set of (self-imposed) guidelines—stretching me, again, in the area of organization.
Since organization is definitely a weakness of mine (I don’t really even know how to use Excel, but I’m learning), this has all been a great experience. It will definitely lead to me learning how to better use my time.
Strength in weakness
In II Corinthians, Paul writes about how he had asked the Lord to remove his thorn in the flesh, only to have Jesus tell him, “My grace is enough to cover and sustain you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul then says to his readers, “So ask me about my thorn, inquire about my weaknesses, and I will gladly go on and on–I would rather stake my claim in these and have the power of the Anointed One at home within me. I am at peace and even take pleasure in any weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and afflictions for the sake of the Anointed because when I am at my weakest, He makes me strong” (II Corinthians 12:9-10, The Voice).
What about you? In what areas are you being stretched this year? What weaknesses are you being forced to face? And how will that both benefit you and further the cause of Christ?
Michael Ehret, for Writing on the Fine Line