Everyone knows the rule of writing is to write, the rule of running is to run, and the rule of loving is to love. We cannot do what we do not do.
But the siren call of what we do well is also the ruin of us if we end there.
I wrote about being a fraud a month ago and to be honest, those thoughts linger on. A friend posed a question on his facebook status the other day: is one a writer if he doesn't writer? Last night I sat across from someone talking about how everything we do is practice for more practicing--that's the beauty of living and mistaking and healing and hurting--we're going to get it right someday because He already has gotten it right.
But then later, when I'm by myself, that nagging question returns: aren't you a fraud? You do everything halfway, you know you could do better, you're lazy, you don't want to put the work into doing anything well.
And I believe that. Some good Christian people might take their Bible and make it say that my words result in beliefs and my beliefs result in actions and my actions could change the world, and they might be right. I don't know. I do know, though, that I believe with all my heart that what I'm doing today is a breath, a vapor, and will be gone before I can resolve any of these nagging questions. It is better, perhaps, to just let the questions do the work in me, dig around, reveal the parts of me that are unfinished and imperfect. It is better, perhaps, to let those parts of me be exposed, to show you the fraud I am, the weakest parts, the parts of me that I've been trying to cover with fig leaves and fragmented excuses.
I ask a friend last night: who gets the glory if you secret away your heart, petting it preciously?
But when God asks me this morning if I will expose my own, give Him the glory in my weakness, I cower back.
Not from Him--I know He is a trustworthy father and friend.
But from you.
So here's what I'm saying, friend, I am so unfinished, so unbelievably imperfect and prone to failure. Every one of the things I do well, I do fast, thoughtlessly, even a bit aimlessly. The things I really want to do well frighten me so badly that I won't even voice them--barely even to myself. Whispered pleas before I close my eyes at night, fleeting thoughts when I catch a glimpse, careful avoidance most of the time.
One of the great comforts to me recently (and if you know me in person, you are probably tired of me beginning and ending every prayer and conversation with this reminder) is that God is the only one who finishes anything. That is to say that all of our accomplishments are not even mere drops in the bucket. All of our endeavors are not done. All of our adventures are errands. And all of our work is a shadow.
He finishes it when it's done.
And not a moment before.