It took a child dunking her bread in the sacrificial grape “wine” at church this morning to remind me.
About patience and my own rhythm.
As I watched from my liturgist perch, one family came forward to stand at the communion rail to partake of today’s offering. In our church this is cut squares of white bread, and a thimble-sized cup of grape juice.
I watched as one small girl took her bread and her little cup of juice and stood alongside the rail. She dipped her bread into the juice and took a tiny bite, and chewed it leisurely. Pretty soon she dipped her bread again in the juice and chewed that—again, leisurely. She was in no hurry. As she chewed she stood there lost in thought.
Adults and other families came and went while she finished her meal. When her bread was gone she tipped her cup and made sure she’d gotten every last drop out of it before placing the cup in the receptacle holes for the used cups. Her Dad stood next to her, waiting until she’d finished and then they returned to their seats.
The first thing I appreciated about this scenario was that no one—and I mean No One—attempted to hurry this child, or interfere in any manner with the way she chose to consume her communion. That would have totally honked me off.
But the second thing—the way she continued in her method, unaffected by the steady flow of traffic to the rail around her impressed me to the max, and I couldn’t help but question: Why do we forget how to remain unaffected when working on our own projects, be it writing, painting, designing flower gardens or redecorating our TV room?
Many have written and sold books on “How To Write Fiction” or “How NOT To Write” or “5 Easy Steps to Publishing Success!,” or blogs espousing how you, too, can make 6 figures in freelancing!
Their intentions are mostly good, I am sure, but too much of “them” gets in your head and does much damage, especially if you get so bound up by their advice that you cannot cut yourself free to be and do—what you want to.
If you spend too much time reading and absorbing all this flak, you, unlike that oblivious small child enjoying her communion, won’t be “taking your particular seat” anywhere nearly as calm and satisfied as she was today.
We know our own rhythms and expectations; what we want. What works for us, is going to be very different from what someone else does.
And that is okay.
Like taking communion, as far as I’m concerned, there is no right way.
All that matters is how you feel about how it’s progressing. For you. You’ll know when you aren’t happy with the way it’s moving, and then you’ll do something about that, or you’ll quit. (I don’t recommend this.)
Forget everyone else. Try to be like the child at the communion rail.
Follow your own rhythm–because you do have one.