I’ve been fighting some monster writer’s block lately. Part of it, I freely admit, is laziness. I am in the midst of an English language class, master’s level, in which I must write a 15 page paper analyzing the linguistic choices of Jane Austen. I chose to study Austen because I enjoy her writing. What romantic heart wouldn’t enjoy her work? The thought that her stories were written over 200 years ago and are still in print is mind boggling. Why is that? What is it about her linguistic choices, her writing style, the composition of the novels that have made them so enduring? While reading Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park and even the biographic information that I have been able to find about Jane Austen is utterly enjoyable, writing the paper itself isn’t. Whether I sit in front of a blank computer screen or a blank piece of paper, I can’t seem to get any words to come out. There are so many facts in my head. I just can’t get them to form an intelligible paper. At this point, one intelligible paragraph, even just one sentence on the subject would be helpful. Instead, all that I can think of when I try to work on this paper are the words of James 4:17—Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.

OK, Lord. What is it that You are telling me I ought to do? This classwork is important. I thought this was what You wanted. And I still feel that earning this degree is the right thing. But is there something more? Over the summer, You gave me some ideas that I worked on. Is one of those what I am supposed to be doing? Lord, I know I need to complete this assignment, but I do not want to fail YOU. Please, guide me. If there is something more important that You need me to write, if there is something more urgent that You need me to share this morning, point me in that direction. Help me to write and share those words. I want to glorify You.

I love You, Lord. And I want my words and actions to show that. Today. Tomorrow. Always.

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