People have told me that I should write a book. Since I am easily susceptible to praise and compliments, I decided I should write a book. But no one would tell me what to write about. I guess they assumed I could figure that out but I obviously have difficulty thinking for myself. I’m not an expert on anything. I try lots of things and start a lot of things but I rarely finish anything. Like cross-stitching when I was in middle school. All the cool kids were doing it (did I mention my skewed perspective on reality?). From 7th grade to 9th grade, I started seven cross-stitch patterns. One about sisters, two that involved profile pictures of a Native American boy and a Native American girl, one of cute little puppies, one with a nice little Scripture reference to make me feel good and I can’t remember the other two. I didn’t finish one of those patterns. I’d quit the current project for one of two reasons.
First, as easy as cross-stitching might appear, you can make mistakes. Confusing, dumbfounding, no-way-I’m-getting-this-knot-untangled mistakes. It was at that point that I would give up. I’d put it in my bedside drawer and tell myself that I would come back to it tomorrow when I had more time to work out the problem. But we both knew, me and that drawer, that I was lying. I had not intention of coming back to it.
The other reason I would quit a cross-stitching project was because I grew interested in a new cross-stitch pattern. I’d be in a store somewhere and I’d see a pattern that caught my eye and I’d tell myself that if I had that pattern I would finish it because I was more interested in it. So, I’d buy it and you know where the current project would go. Yep, to the drawer.
That was a truly depressing drawer sometimes. In weak moments, when I thought I would work out the knots or restart a project, I’d open the drawer and be met with the undeniable evidence of my inability to follow-through. I remember the half-finished eye of the little Native American girl staring back at me pleading, “Finish me. For the love of all that is good and holy, finish me.” I’d quickly shut the door, silencing her and all the other unfinished works. Out of sight, out of mind.
I do God this way. I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve started a new “faith” project. Read the Bible through in a year only to get behind by January 7th and give up because there is no way I can catch up. I’ll just wait until next January. To the drawer. The Lenten season would come around and I would promise God that I would fast from chocolate or sarcasm only to find myself a week later rudely mocking my friend for reminding me of my fast as I threw back a bag of M&Ms. To the drawer. Don’t even get me started on journaling. Just the other night I was rereading the journals I found (guess where?) and every single one of them has unwritten pages in the last third of the book. So, as you might imagine, as I was rereading the journals, I said to myself, “Hmm, Self. I should start journaling again. That is such a good spiritual discipline.” And to start anew with journaling, I should get a new journal.
And then the laughter came. But not from my mouth.
It came from the bedside drawer.