I shook it. I knocked it gently, sideways on the top of the desk. I licked a piece of paper and wrote carefully in the moisture (I can’t tell you why this works, but it usually does). I repeated each procedure without results. Then I carried the pen to the sink, took it apart, and carefully flushed out the point. Refilling it, I sat down to write.

How like me, I thought with exasperation.

I have mugs full of pens on my desk: ballpoints, felt tips, ink pens—even pencils. But for very fine writing, such as notes in the margin of my Bible, I need a Rapidograph pen. This pen has a needle-fine point and uses India ink, which will not seep through or smear on the thin India paper.

How often when God has needed me I have been clogged up (too busy or inundated with things, the necessary giving way to the unnecessary). Or I’ve gone dry.

When that happens I need a “shaking up”; or I need special cleansing. And I need to be filled and refilled and filled again.

There are times God has patiently and carefully done just that. There are other times when he has had to pass me over and pick up a pen that was usable.

But unlike a pen, I do have a choice. I can decide whether or not I remain usable.

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