“The waiting is the hardest part. ” -Tom Petty
My weeks are full, with trips to see Dad, and the care and feed of my spiritual direction related activities, and just normal everyday life. It’s mostly door number two that’s a time hog. It leaves me no time to write… except for the spiritual formation class I’m developing for door number two.
Our small group of eight meets on Wednesday evenings. It’s hard to explain the genesis of this group, except to say that the initial push came out of a need to recruit directees for my spiritual direction practicum. The writing of lessons has been okay, more or less. The hardest part has been the development side –the waiting for ideas to magically appear and come together. I go to bed on Wednesday night, nearly clueless on what next week’s focus will be. By Friday morning, I have a few ideas. By Monday, I’m drafting which leaves Tuesday and Wednesday for editing and printing.
I hate to write toward a deadline. Yes. I’m whining. If I had my way, I would be ahead of the game, with several lessons in ‘inventory’, a cushion to fall back on in case the creativity craters. But no. Instead, the ideas have come just-in-time. This class, which I’ve called “Everyday God” runs off of just-in-time inventory — I print the lesson and lead it on the same day. Yikes. I can’t believe I’m actually doing this.
I feel like a kid again…flying by the seat of my pants…rather than a big kid who has all her ducks in a row. I’m pretty sure that this was not what I signed up for. But last week, driving home after the end of our second class, I experienced this moment of pure joy. And out of nowhere, came this expression I’ve never said or heard anyone else say: “Look Ma. Look Pa. I’m writing the bicycle of faith!”
Do you remember how hard it was to learn how to ride a bike once the training wheels came off? You want to be a big kid, but you fear you’re not ready to fly solo. Then somehow, your parents convince you to give it a go. And at first you’re excited. But then you realize you have no idea what this is going to feel like. But you muscle up some courage to climb up on the seat and start pumping your feet as your dad cheers you on.
It’s not a pretty sight–at best, you look a little drunk, and at worst, you find youself a crash victim on the sidewalk with a few scrapes and bruises. But with some experience, something clicks and you begin to get your sense of balance. And you are so excited because you are flying by the seat of your pants. And the wind is blowing through your hair and caressing your face, and you are so proud of yourself, and you look back to make sure your daddy is still watching and… ker-plunk. Darn for that pride and wanting to see someone cheer you on.
Developing this class has been just like learning to ride a bicycle. I’m in the wobbly stage right now, but so far no falls. But each week offers a new test of faith… a different patch of road to explore. And I don’t know the lay of the land, so a fall may be just around the corner. And just three weeks into this, I’m sort of ready to park the bicycle. But don’t misunderstood. I’m giving it all I have — but I won’t be at all disappointed if the group decides to fold by the middle of July. In fact, I’m sorta counting on their summer doldrums to kick in.
Meanwhile, it’s one day at a time and one ride at a time. I’m trying hard to keep my eyes on the road, trying hard not to look back. But its Thursday. Which means I’m waiting for manna from heaven.
Still waiting. Hey, anyone up there listenting?