Wednesday, February 24, 2010

stuck in yesterday, going nowhere fast

The Word for today:
Matthew 9:9-34

mark this: Matthew 9:16-17 --
"No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."

I want to write about new wineskins today, but I can't get started.

I'm learning how to live this new life, so I say a prayer first. I ask Jesus to write, since he spoke the parable. I congratulate myself, because I used to forget prayer until much later in the process.

Still nothing, so I meander down the hall. I see Pastor Joe and I tell him I want to write about new wineskins, but I'm stuck. Then I tell Marcia the same.

I go back to my computer and I look out at a late February day. It has that late February light, suffused with a hint of spring. If I could nail this blog, I could run outside today. For most of three months, I've taken my daily jog on my treadmill. Please, Jesus, hurry up and write this before dark.

I reach for the phone. Shelley often has a take which jumpstarts good writing. But the message machine answers, which means she's in a meeting at work.

Then I wonder what Bill Long has to say about patches and wine and wineskins. Bill Long is a long-gone friend who often comments on biblical topics via Facebook. I sometimes find myself writing with him in mind. But he's at work too, in Michigan somewhere. If I send him a message, he won't see it until tonight.

There's a knock on the door. It's Marcia. She runs the church office where I work. She runs a tight ship.

"Are you writing in Matthew 9?"

"Why, yes--yes, that's just where I'm writing today."

"The old gets in the way--old ways of seeing things; old procedures, yesterdays, and bygones. The old clothes don't fit the new person. We get stuck taking the same old steps over and over and we never get anywhere. Does that help?"

As she spoke, the article took shape by itself. The Pharisees were stuck, running in place. They weren't responding to the new Light, the new Way, the new day before them.

I'm done. I run a spell check. I attach a picture of the treadmill I'm liberating myself from, starting today.

And it's not yet 4:30! Lots of February light left to run through.

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