Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Meantime

A recent conversation with a friend has me thinking about calling and "career" paths. She was brave enough to approach the subject of, my paraphrase here, "So, you don't have a job right now and your benefactress job isn't ready to cash in, what are you going to do?" I get the what do you do question a lot. Somehow, the what are you going to do now question is even scarier.

My first reaction was one of defense. "Never let them see you sweat." Remain calm, take deep breaths, and carefully craft an answer. This friend seemed to really want to know. She was asking from a place of concern. As I began to tell her that I didn't know, what I did know
spilled out and with that truth I was calmed . At this time, there are many uncertainties, nevertheless what I am sure of pulls me forward.

Even still there are days when I ask myself, "What if I just took a normal job?" What if I . . . ? What if I . . . ? I have this need to define my call especially when asked to explain what I "do". Ultimately I know that what I do matters, but it's hard to explain what in the world a freelance minister is and sometimes I get the feeling that my dad's business partner doesn't really want to hear about the panty project in Kidete. This morning while sitting at the kitchen table of my friend, I had a realization. Just like my friends with "real" jobs, I too am gaining priceless ministry experience. Observing the everyday life of a community, entering into conversations that matter, sitting with and listening to others while daring to share who I am . . . that is what I do.

Years ago I was asked to be the preacher at Baptist Women in Ministry's annual meeting. The idea of preaching in front of some of my most admired mentors was frightening. As my quivering hands and I stood in the back of the room waiting for the service to begin I made the comment, "I can't wait for this to be over." My wise friend Terry Thomas Primer gently suggested that I not wish away the waiting. She said, "It will be over before you know it, in the meantime, enjoy this experience. Drink in the moment."

I'm reminded of her words today as I once again tell myself to quit fighting the meantime. Today I will drink in the moment. Today I will not be afraid.

PS this is what i do too . . .

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Tell Me a Story

We should write because it is human nature to write. Writing claims our world. It makes it directly and specifically our own. We should write because humans are spiritual beings and writing is a powerful form of prayer and meditation, connecting us both to our own insights and to a higher and deeper level of inner guidance.

We should write because writing brings clarity and passion to the act of living. Writing is sensual, experiential, grounding. We should write because writing is good for the soul. We should write because writing yields us a body of work, a felt path through the world we live in.

We should write, above all, because we are writers, whether we call ourselves that or not.

Julia Cameron, The Right to Write