Friday, November 14, 2008

Naked as a jaybird

As I mentioned in my last post, I have some amazing editors helping me to correct and revise my papers. I can't thank them enough for their time and efforts. You might have noticed I was pretty frustrated with the papers and completely uninspired to keep going with them. But tonight I opened the package of corrected papers my parents had sent, read through the corrections Rob had sent, as well as had another editor read through the papers. Surprisingly, their edits left me inspired to write more and complete my thoughts. I was not left discouraged or frustrated by the work to be done. Props to all of those editors for constructive criticism!

I have compiled the various edits from each of 6 readers and am now sending the revised versions to a former board member for his take. I trust this colleague. I value his opinion. I know he wants only the best for me, which includes passing the first time. And I believe, like my other editors, that he will be honest, even if it's a hard truth to tell. I don't really look forward to those hard truths, but keep reiterating, "I would rather here it from you than from the Board."

Despite all that, I have to be honest, sharing these papers with anyone is a bit like standing naked in front of a lecture hall (or so I's not anything I've done. Public nudity is not

I suppose this is only the dry run. After all, thirty-some people from the Board will be reviewing my papers, my sermon, my hopes, my frustrations, my trials, and my successes and then they will decide if I am effective in ministry.

I know I am called. I have the utmost trust in that. I believe I am called to serve the UMC, I have 90% assurance about that. ;) I believe I have been effective in ministry. There are obvious fruits in the places I have served. I believe those fruits should be attributed to God, and hope I have been a part of the success of the harvest. And I hope the Board sees that.
my gig--let's be clear!) There is an incredible sense of vulnerability in sharing so much of yourself. It's my theology. It's my strengths. It's my weaknesses. It's my self-reflection. It's my successes. It's my failures. And it's a dangerous lot to share. I worry about being ineloquent. I worry about touting abilities others do not see. I fear they will think I'm a weak writer or a misguided theologian.

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