One at a time…
In 2013 I set out on a mission that was motivated in part by the few paragraphs Pastor Derric Johnson would write to us on the back of our monthly Re’generation itineraries back in the 70’s. He called these mini-devotional/inspirational writings…”Parson to Person.” I still have most of them in a folder in my studio. I get them out every now and then…to brush off the cobwebs on some of those thoughts and memories.
This past weekend was the Re’generation reunion. It had been five years since the last one but It was the first one I’d made since I left the group in 1977.
As I walked up to Pastor Derric on Friday evening, I didn’t think he recognized me…in fact I was sure he didn’t. So I introduced myself. It had been 40 years after all…and I was not the young, brown-haired, svelt man of long ago. By the time I got my first name out of my mouth it all clicked with him.
We exchanged greetings and I introduced him to my son, Brendan, who had made the trip to Nashville with me.
In the moments that followed we exchanged a few pleasantries…all the usual stuff to try and catch up 40 years in a couple minutes. He was very kind… and as warm and positive as I had remembered him to be.
I talked briefly about how much the Parson to Person letters had influenced me and how that I had begun my own project to put some of my own inspirational and motivational thoughts together for a book of sorts. I explained that the writing process for me was slow. It had taken me 4 years to get 130 short devotions put together. I thought that based on the stuff that was floating around in my brain I should have had this done a whole lot sooner… but the stuff didn’t come out of my brain nearly as fast as it had gone in. Then he said what will be my take away for the weekend. “They only come one at a time”
The application of that thought immediately relieved a lot of the stress and the pressure I’ve put on myself to get this thing finished. And I might actually get 365 devotions put together. I might put a book together if someone (besides me) thinks there is any value in the making and selling of it. Or…It may only end up being a coffee table book for my kids to remember me by. Who knows?
“One at a time” packs a big punch if you think about it for a minute. “One at a time” no matter if it’s the next devotion, the next sale, the next soul…demands attention and focus and singleness of purpose. It requires a starting point and a stopping point with something meaningful in between the two.
There is no multi-tasking in doing “One at a time” It is by its definition a singular act. And…It is more about the quality of the effort than the quantity of it. At least that’s what I think.
I’m sitting in the lobby of our hotel, having my coffee and cozying up to my IPad this morning. Brendan is still sleeping. As things worked out, I was only able to spend a few hours with the Re’Gen folks this weekend. I missed a lot of the stories and the fellowship. I’d say I missed the singing…but if I’m honest…I really just missed the listening.
I’m in the car now…about 4 hours from home and I’m seeing the pictures from the weekend pop up on Facebook. (The police officer who pulled me over for distracted driving thought they were very nice.) kidding…
I’m glad I was there to see my friends if only for a few hours. The memories will last much longer.