We Shall Overcome
"Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything..."
(Colossians 3:22 - NIV)
It's always so interesting to me to see the way that things turn out when you're in the flow of your gift.
I should have finished this book months ago, but, in my defense, it's been quite an eventful year so far, and I've had a lot going on in my life to distract me from writing, to say the least.
I won't go into detail, but trust me when I say that I've had more than enough on my plate of late, and the resulting circumstances have demanded that I fill so many different roles that the "author" one has sort of been necessarily put on the back burner again and again.
As a result, the book has pretty much evolved through "fits and starts", as they say, and at least twice I just decided to scrap it, altogether, as I've already revealed in a previous chapter.
I have entertained the thought at certain times that, because it is taking so long to get it done, maybe this was just supposed to be nothing more than my own (un-published) personal journal, written solely for my own catharsis.
At this point in my journey, most of the deluge of hate-mail and general antagonism from the religious community that I was once dealing with has pretty much died down (or died off), the homophobia-induced exodus from my church is apparently over, and I'm personally the happiest and most internally peaceful that I've been since I can remember. I say that to explain that much of the personal impetus for writing this to begin with is now a moot point.
And everyone tells me I'm much nicer now than I used to be, whatever that's about, so I have thought on occasion that perhaps the writing had served its purpose.
To give you some perspective on the creative time-span, there have not only been major shifts and changes in my public life/ministry during the course of this writing, there has also been significant transition in my personal life. I was single when I started writing this, and then I was in a relationship for about a year, and then I was single for about seven or eight months, and now (at the time of writing this chapter) I'm about two months into another (much better) relationship.
As a result of all that has been going on with me and with the church, I have actually gone for months without writing a single thing for the book.
And when you work like that it's easy to lose momentum...and perspective...on your project.
But every time I start to think that maybe the book isn't for publication, something seems to always happen that sort of serves as a cosmic kick in the pants, and gets me back into the game.
When I began forming the ideas and themes for the book, I wrote out a Table of Contents as an outline of all the chapters that would cover everything I wanted to talk about here. One of the chapters was to be about racial issues, as they pertain to the subject matter contained in these pages (by the way, I haven't forgotten that the book is about GOOD NEWS!), and so I wrote out the title for Chapter 17: "We Shall Overcome".
I've been staring at that title for months, with no real inspiration to attach a chapter to it, and had decided as of last week just to go ahead and publish it as is, with only 16 chapters (the original plan was/is for 21).
But that was last week.
This week there is suddenly an abundance of inspiration and a million things to say in this chapter.
Of course I won't get to all 1,000,000 things, but I now at least know why I've waited until now to write this chapter.
My steps are definitely ordered.
(to be continued...)