God is absolutely crazy. He’s gone totally bonkers.
I’ve told God its pretty pointless to take on a job which ‘any other man on the street’ can also do. Surely, any normal person can pick up InDesign in 2 weeks. My first bulletin came out without a hitch. The things that were revealed these 2 days goes to show, you better be careful with what you wish for.
It’s not the bulletin that’s giving me problems. It’s the monthly publication. I’ve been feeling despondent since yesterday. Probably because the chances of being rejected by the people on the list of writers given to me was pretty high. I don’t know them, and they don’t know me. Not much incentive for them to write. They are going to decline. And when they do, I’m screwed. I am going to end up having to write every article that doesn’t have a regular contributor, which is pretty ridiculous. I have a very competent mentor, who puts all the structures and process in the right order for me to dream big story ideas. But if no one wants to give of their time, effort and words, I can do nothing.
So after being slammed for pressuring visual people to provide text, I go to the ado. And I feel the accusations rising. “God are you crazy? How can you put me in a situation without a proper system? What am I suppose to do now?” And then I thought about how the paper couldn’t have been a one-man job from the start. It must have been started by a group and somewhere along the way, the passion died. A paper is not a one-person production, it needs to be maintained by a team, a ministry. Then C.S. Lewis came to mind.
But the proper aim of giving is to put the recipient in a state where he no longer needs our gift.
I once told my first tutee that my job as a tutor is to make sure I am not needed. I meant that I wasn’t just going to teach her Maths and Science, I was going to teach her how to learn by herself, where to get resources; I was going to teach her to be independent. I was fired the very next day. I think her mom thought I was trying to shirk responsibility.
In the same way, I think God’s instructions for me is to make sure I am not needed when I leave. My goal is to set up a fully functioning ministry which can oversee the publication, at the same time create a culture of contemporary Christian writing. That’s a pretty tall order. I’m hesitating even typing it down, because if it doesn’t happen then I would have failed. But I see that I do have the essentials. I have adequate skills and understanding of the craft and passion and practice, hopefully all enough to inspire. I see that my fangirling over Ronald Rolheiser will come in handy; my ability to tell what is a good reflective piece will be used; my muses in community will continue to support me. I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
But while I was in ado thinking all these things, my problems were not yet solved. And I leave praying ‘May God’s grace and divine providence prevail’. I came back to the office to find soo and mel spamming me with contacts. Maybe it is only 4 names. Maybe they won’t even end up writing anything. But there is hope. There is something to fight for. And there is work to be done.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13