[Thoughts from the conference where I'll be this week: Writing and the Pastoral Life. I'm in rural Minnesota, at St. John's University and Abbey]
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us." (Marianne Williamson)
I've not been willing to admit this to myself, but in a lot of ways, I'm afraid to write. That sounds dumb, but for me it's risky. For me, I think, it's the thing I've always wanted to do. It's not that I'm afraid I'll start writing and won't like it, but rather that I'm afraid I'll like it too much. I fear not that I'll be rejected but that I'll be accepted-- which will in turn necessitate more and more writing. I'm afraid that I might just get lost in a world of words, and have a hard time coming back to reality.
I've been telling myself that "they" won't let me write. They who? The church who wants all my attention. The sermon who must be preached, week after week. The triathlon who isn't getting trained for. The quilt, who cries out to be finished. My puppy who doesn't understand "I'm busy." My husband who doesn't want to hear "I'm busy."
But, it turns out that maybe "I" am the "they."
"Graceland" is the name of my favorite song and album. It's by Paul Simon, but more importantly, it's what "home" sounds and feels like to me. We always listened to this album as we traveled from my home in Tennessee to my parents' childhood homes in Florida. But today, it's also a pretty good snapshot of my theology. Somewhere I really believe that the Christian journey is all about a wild trip to Grace-land. As I see it, Grace-land is the place where God is waiting to meet even us–with all the baggage and brokeness that we tote with us. Grace-land is the place where we will be received with open arms, even though our attempts at “getting it right” have been miserable failures at best. But, I think, every step we take is a step on the journey to Graceland.