31: God is a rough draft.
-Rev Melissa Fain-
1 The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Sin desert, which is located between Elim and Sinai. They set out on the fifteenth day of the second month[a] after they had left the land of Egypt.2 The whole Israelite community complained against Moses and Aaron in the desert. 3 The Israelites said to them, “Oh, how we wish that the Lord had just put us to death while we were still in the land of Egypt. There we could sit by the pots cooking meat and eat our fill of bread. Instead, you’ve brought us out into this desert to starve this whole assembly to death.”
Exodus 15:1-3 CEB
I had this story churning in my brain for a good part of my life. Mentally, I'd been editing it and revising it for years. Then, about three to four years ago, I bought a journal and began writing it out. Four journals later, I began typing it out, doing basic revisions as I did. Then, I went back to make major revisions. Now, I have a fully written, three book trilogy. It's never been copy edited. It has not been published, but I did it! (My first projects for anything tend to be huge. My first real crochet project was a queen size blanket.)
I physically chose to write out my first draft because typing it was an epic failure. I kept finding myself going back and editing. Before I knew it, I had only written one page, and nothing was accomplished. Handwriting it out meant I could go back and re-read, make notes in the margins, but I couldn't do anything substantial to the story except keep going.
Many of us tend to freeze when God calls us. We imagine the failures as we makes plans and imagine how it will play out. Then we realize what a mess it all is, and give up before it actually begins. Well of course it's a mess. When we first get started that plan of action is just a rough draft. Just like a seed doesn't instantly become a finished tree, fruit and all, a call requires substantial planning.
If I really had to get to why no one supports a plan of action, it would all come down to the amount of work the journey to the finished plan would take. I have never read a bible story, or heard about a church start that began with the finished product. The struggle, the tears, the tiredness and ache- that's all part of the call. So go and do God's work! Go and join someone else who is the process of doing God's work! Get it out on paper, and struggle as you revise and correct what didn't work. God is a rough draft.
Let us pray:
Dear God, Help me understand your plan, and give me courage to keep going as it goes through the revision process. Amen.