This month I signed up for a short writing course offered at my church. The title of the three-week program was "Learning to Write a Lenten Devotion." I was intrigued and looked forward to our first meeting. At the first meeting, all of us received a copy of the Upper Room, a devotional with a handout that provides guidelines for writing a meditation. The best clues that I gleaned, from the course and the Upper Room reading, are as follows: find a scripture that means something to you and connect it with your daily life. It seemed so darn simple, until I started to write.
I struggled over which scripture would adequately capture the power of my thoughts and support my experience. I wrote and deleted so many paragraphs on my way to a 250-word devotional limit. I loved the quote in the Upper Room guidelines, "think snapshot, not movie," which was appropriate as I wrote and rewrote the piece. All I wanted was to be authentic and find the right way to express my spiritual truth. This is still in edit mode, and yet, as we move towards Lent I want to share this "draft" with you.
I opened the envelope holding my employee evaluation. I glanced down and read compliments about myself and my work. Then, I read two points about improving my communication; I needed to slow down and clarify expectations. All of the compliments about being a good leader went out the window and were completely overshadowed by those two points. I read those two items over and over again thinking, "Am I good enough?"
Isn’t this the way our minds work? Haven’t we at one moment or another wondered if we are good enough? Likely, we have had questions in our relationships … am I a good enough parent, a good enough friend, partner, sibling, employee? What does it mean to be good enough and who decides? Many times the decision is made by a tiny voice reverberating in our minds. The whispers, often self-inflicted, hint to doubts of self-worth.
The question posed in Micah is short and to the point. What is good?
What is Good? And what does the Lord require of you? But to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
God is clear about what is good enough. His expectations are to be men and women with and for others, and good enough is to be completely who God made us to be. It’s that simple and clear.
Gracious Lord, forgive us for not remembering that we are made in your image. Give us the grace to forgive ourselves and others when we miss the mark. Gently remind us being good enough simply means being fair, kind and faithful in our walk with you.
Give it a try; connect your thoughts about your spiritual life and the real events of your daily life. What would your first draft look like? The most important element is that it becomes an "honest statement of personal faith." Put the pen to paper. I look forward to being encouraged by you.