I told myself that the other day as I was thinking about all the things that I could wrote about, all the drafts I have started, all the first lines and three paragraphs. I have projects that would be helpful to people in a variety of settings. I start my notes, and then I get distracted.
I’m distracted by my thoughts of the research being incomplete, the writing being rough. I bring the standards of academic writing to the words I could be sharing here or at socialmediachaplain.com or at beforeyouwalkin.com.
I’m distracted by a steady flow of opinions about politics and coffee and dogs and health care and the state of the church (or is it the church of the state? (See how easy it is to start an argument?)).
I forget that there is helpfulness in the words I can share, the ways of thinking about things, the invitations to interact with ideas. So I feel pretty convicted by a proverb that says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you’— when you already have it with you.”
I just used the word “convicted”. It’s a word that has a sense of guilt with it. Which is unfortunate. Because this proverb is more of a nudge. “You can help people right now with what you have available. Go ahead! Be helpful now!”
That compliment you could make, make it now and watch someone smile! That job you could finish, finish it now! That card, that apology, that gift, that five minutes of sitting. We have it with us. Do it now!
One of the things I needed to get done was a long post. I’ve been reading some books about death. Or better, about talking about end-of-life conversations. I decided that it might be helpful to summarize some of that reading for some of my pastor, chaplain, care team, around death friends. At 3500 words, this isn’t a quick read. And it’s more like a collection of notes and summaries than a complete review essay. But it’s going to be helpful to some of you.