I have always wanted to write a book. But, as someone who has the patience of a two-year old combined with a Monkish level of perfectionism, that’s proven difficult. But I am learning. One of the most important things I’m learning is that perfection requires patience. If I’m going to attain the mythic heights of perfection, I am going to need patience. But imperfection makes me impatient. Bit of a catch-22
But perhaps that’s the point. There is a tension inherent in my desire to write which in turn is the tension underlying all of fallen creation. God created a world in which perfection ruled therefore patience was inherent. But with the introduction of sin, perfection went out the window and patience was right behind. Now, all we’re left with is tension.
But God doesn’t waste that tension. Instead, he uses it for his purposes. Scripture is clear: the standard for all of us is perfection. Without perfection, no one will see God. We are to be perfect because He is perfect. But that’s out of our grasp. And, in a fallen world, if we attained it, we’d lose it instantly through our pride springing up.
Instead, God calls us to humility. He calls us to accept the gift of Jesus’ perfection, credited to our account. And then he calls us to patience, allowing him to mold and shape and steer the course of our lives towards Christ-like perfection. And as we are moving in that direction, we die.
That sounds like a bum deal, but that amazing news! We are called to something we don’t have the capacity or the patience for, but God draws us towards it and completes it with the glorification that comes when we see Jesus for who he truly is. This life, rather than requiring our merit, requires our meekness. It requires us to let God do his work in and through us while never allowing us to gloat in our achievements.
This life ends which means that it isn’t the end.
This life isn’t the whole story for us. We work, we write, and we wait. Authors talk about their projects, things they’re trying to get out. These projects usually have a working title, something that marks what they will be even though they’re not finished yet. I am convinced that in this life, God has gives each Christian a working title. It’s pointing us to what we will be even though the work’s not done yet. I am grateful for the tension, grateful for the progress, and looking forward to getting a real title. Until then, I’m good with the working one.
One thought on “A Working Title…”
As I began to read, my mind intuitively heard your voice speaking it, then in my peripheral vision I could see you standing, preaching on Sunday morning or teaching on Wednesday night, the distinct articulation, the thoughtful pause so that we can hear, absorb, understand what has been said. Thank you. I will look forward to reading, hearing and seeing you again. Jan