Thursday, March 13, 2008


It breaks my heart when I work so hard on writing something and then it just doesn't work.

I worked on an e-mail at work for maybe 20 minutes, making sure it was clear and complete and not totally boring because, hey, there was a story to tell. And it was a beautiful little e-mail! The unfortuntate thing is that in a workplace environment, if it's longer than 2 sentences and from anyone under the level of president, no one really cares. I could just see it -- the annoyed expressions, the impatient skimming. It may be art, but if no one wants to read it, it doesn't really fill its purpose. I scrapped the whole thing and started over. Short, to the point, no fluff. Welcome to the business world, I guess. Sigh.

What's disgusting is that I work that hard, and in much the same way, with anything I write, including this post. Write it out, edit it as I go, go back and read it, change this, rearrange that, read it again, fix some more things. I want it to be perfect, but as a friend of mine likes to say about scrapbooking, "perfect is pretty but finished is BEAUTIFUL!"

That's why I'm letting myself write things that I don't yet like on Cindy's story. It's not nearly as satisfying as having something beautiful that I think will make it to the final draft, but it does mean the story is out there, the structure is established. It can always be polished later. (And oh, believe me, it will be.)

I can't help but think there's a larger metaphor at work here...that sometimes we have to get out there, make whatever effort we can manage in this moment, and let God ("the author and finisher of our faith") do the editing. Perfect is impossible, but finished truly is beautiful, if we have the patience and humility to gratefully accept His refining. When my heart is breaking because I've worked for so long on something and it just isn't working, sometimes I need to start over. Short, to the point, no fluff: God comes first. Then I can fill my purpose, and find effective ways to both feel and communicate His love.

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