Friday, April 9, 2010

The "Already" and the "Not Yet"

I just finished writing a 100 page Lenten Bible study book for the United Methodist Publishing House that will be released early in 2011. I've been working on this book since mid-January.

On the one hand, I'm glad it's done. There is always a sense of satisfaction when a project is completed. It feels like a burden has been lifted. As much as I enjoyed writing this book, there was always that April 15 deadline looming in the future. To meet that deadline, I needed to write at least 4 hours a day for the past 12 weeks.

There is a sense of sadness as well. Completing a book is like saying "goodbye" to a friend. I have a similar feeling of loss when I finish reading a good novel.

There is also a sense of anxiety that arises with the question, "What's next?" On Monday, when I sit down at my desk, I will begin working on a new project. However, I haven't yet decided what I'm going to work on. There are several possibilities, but I want to take some time for these to germinate and see which possibility will take root and grow.

As one theologian put it, we are always living between the "already" and the "not yet." The "already" is what has been done, accomplished and finished. The "not yet" represents the possibilities that lay ahead in the future. While the "not yet" gives rise to anxiety, it also creates anticipation and excitement. We can't know the future-- we can only move into it. So, here I come!

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