Happy Monday, friends! My writing process for Monday Moments is usually to spend a few days thinking and observing and then sit down at Java Central in Westerville with one of their many concoctions and write 500 to 700 words that many of you receive in your inbox at 5:30am on Monday mornings. Usually by Thursday night or Friday morning it’s done, scheduled for distribution, and sent off to Brandan so he can make a few graphics for Monday. Occasionally, it takes me till Friday night or even Saturday night. Once-in-awhile I struggle and it’s Sunday afternoon. When I first started writing these pieces, I forgot to write one and did it at 10pm on Sunday night. As I write tonight it’s 11:50pm on Sunday, August 6, 2023. I’ve started this Monday Moment five times and have yet to complete a draft. Yes, I save all the unfinished drafts. Some will become blog posts, some may find their way into future articles or even become Monday Moments in the future.
Perhaps I’ve struggled this week because there’s too much to write about. Maybe I’m too “in my head” as I wrap up one of the busiest summers I’ve had in my career. It might even be that after three university degrees, the prospect of starting a new school year, in a new degree program, and at a new institution still makes me nervous. Whatever it is, I’m stumped.
Monday Moments have been called “sermons” or more accurately “homilies” (the difference is entirely in length), but I think of these as letters, reflections at most. My goal is not to instruct so much as to share my thoughts and observations. Eighty people receive Monday Moments each week and at least half of you typically open the email within 24 hours. I’m clearly not shouting into a void. Quietly, Monday morning just arrived and as I write I think about Paul. Biblical scholars debate the authorship of Paul’s letters. Paul may have written them, he might have dictated them, they might have been based on his writings or preaching, or they may just be attributed to him in the sometimes-lengthy period between the events of the New Testament and when material was written down and assembled into the library we now know as the Christian Bible.
That said, imagine Paul sitting in some house in the first century world. Others have gone to bed, some of them long ago. He can’t sleep. He’s thinking about the church in Galatia. He’s started writing several times over the last few hours. Tired, having drank a little too much wine, he just can’t figure out a pastoral response. He gives up and writes, “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?” (Galatians 3:1). We’ve all been there. Sometimes you just have to rip the band aid and be blunt.
When have you struggled to communicate your ideas? How can you make yourself understood when words or ideas fail you?
Let us pray: God, help us communicate even when the words won’t come, and the language seems out of reach. We ask you for patience in those times when we’re frustrated because someone else is a mess. We ask you for patience in those times when we’re frustrated because we are the mess. And, heavenly Mother, remember that patience is what we need when messes are involved, because if you give us strength, we may also need bail money. Amen.
Blessings on your weeks, my friends! Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.