The writing of any kind of book requires Talent for sure, but in getting from Opening Day to Finished Project , only one seat is occupied by Mr. Talent. The rest of the seats in the van are filled with Perseverance and his many brother synonyms. It takes the ability to not quit and to daily click keys in the hopes of bringing the project to completion, even when Desire & Inspiration are hiding.
Now that nearly six months have elapsed on the calendar since the finished product graced my desk and enough emotional distance has flooded the gap in time, I’m able to look back on the process of writing Rooted: The Story of CVC, and see how it impacted both my life and my role as a teacher. As I think back on the past 18 months of research, writing and formatting, a few dominant thoughts stand out to me:
- Writing is a gift. The ability to put words together on the page in some semblance of order and harmony is simply a gift from God. And, like most gifts, it comes with a responsibility to use it well, and use it to build others up. Certainly I can make my pen samba across the page for my own personal enjoyment. I can amuse myself with words, but the nature of a gift is that it’s supposed to be used for others and for God’s ultimate glory. Hopefully this book was one written for the benefit of others, to inspire gratitude for the blessing of Christian education. The more I can show my students that writing is a gift designed to make the world a more beautiful place, the more I’m preparing them for their role in that center of beauty.
- It’s a small sandbox. In the world of authentic community in which it’s my pleasure to dwell, it’s really a small world. By the web of relationships that criss-cross this spot of earth where Christian education is done well, it seems that everybody is related to everybody else. And, in a sense, they are. One person’s story is necessarily influenced by the stories of hundreds who’ve come before. I had it numerous times during this writing process in which I interacted with a student in my class and realized, in a grace moment, that I had spent the previous evening writing about his uncle who had passed away in the early days of this school or his grandmother who originally served hot lunch to the very first students to call this school home. Those realizations sure made me realize again how true John Donne’s words are: “No man is an island.”
- Christian education is a treasure. It’s a priceless gift that noble, God-following folks are willing to sacrifice their lives for. Many people gave their time, their money, and, more importantly, their hearts for the cause of Christian education. It’s a sacrifice that continues to be written every day in the life of this school. If the writing of this book taught me nothing else, it taught me that the cause of training young men and women to be servants of the King is a noble aspiration indeed, one worth dedicating my life to as well.
Whether this very well could be the last book that I ever author, it surely was one of the more enjoyable ones to write. And I hope it keeps paying dividends in my teaching and writing life in the months and years to come.