Friday, November 1, 2013

A Month Of...

It is November, and time again for National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. NaNoWriMo.  By writing just 1700 words per day, a whole host of enthusiastic folks will write a whole bunch of miraculously, sometimes hilariously, bad fiction.  And that's just fine, because the point isn't to write the Best Novel Ever, but to write a novel at all.

Or maybe that's just the method, and the point is something deeper.

There is something here about a passion that becomes a dream that becomes a vision that becomes a plan that becomes a discipline that becomes a reality.  There is something here about setting a goal that feels big and amazing, the kind of thing that other people do, and then realizing it is actually possible.  There is something here about giving ourselves permission to be playful and serious and fun in pursuit of a passion without perfectionism.  There is something here about connecting with like-minded others.

Once again, I will not be participating in NaNoWriMo.  Still, once again, I will be celebrating people who do.

Perhaps God gives some ambitions knowing we won't fully achieve them but will accomplish other important things in their pursuit. (N.T. Wright)

Friday, March 15, 2013

More Young People These Days

I wrote several years ago about young people these days, and had similar thoughts today while reading this article.  It's a great story of individuals not just recognizing and bemoaning a problem they see, but taking the initiative to come together, with courage and enthusiasm, to bring about positive change.  "They were leaders, and they have reminded us again that our future is in great hands" (Sarah Watkins).

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Community and Process

I recently read The Complete Idiot's Guide to Parliamentary Procedure, Fast Track. And, unexpectedly, I enjoyed it.  Weird, right?  But here's the thing -- it's not dry, dull lists of rules and regulations (though it does certainly explain the core principles, and does it very well).  Rather, it's built on a solid foundation of developing and sustaining a community marked by mutual respect throughout its membership, and one designed for creativity and excellence.  It's about being flexible at the right times and in the right ways rather than complying so rigidly to a set of behaviors that we risk losing a part of our humanity.  It's about being open and honest in our dealings with each other, always with a focus on the good of the whole rather than the convenience or desires of those with the most power.  It's about honoring the unique contributions of each individual toward a common goal, and ensuring that each one has a place in the process.  It's about grace and truth, and navigating together through sometimes-sticky issues.  It's about covenant relationships that nurture souls.

Seriously, what's not to love about this?