Just call me Jonah
Growing up in a big family, my Mom got our names mixed up frequently. She’d run the list of our names out loud until she arrived at the one she needed. Christine, Michael, Jean-Marie, David, Richard, Kevin! She always seemed to be searching for Richard or Kevin’s name to chastise or get their attention. The two little guys, we used to call ’em. There were the four oldest, then a four year gap, and then the two little guys, Richard and Kevin, born 13 months apart.
Kevin was the comedian, as befalls many in the last position of family order. With a sharp intellect and deft wit, he did his Irish heritage proud with blarney and good-natured fun smoothly delivered with deadpan expression and lively eyes. One day, he’d listened to the litany of names one-too-many times. With characteristic straight-faced delivery, he looked my mother in the eye and said, “Why don’t you just call me ‘Bob’?”
We got him a “Bob” belt buckle for Christmas one year just to pull his leg.
I’ve been resisting-giving in-resisting-giving in about writing my spiritual memoir for the past ten years or so. I’ve grown tired of listening to my own litany of excuses for not getting it done and released to a publisher. I want to say to God, who seems to be more interested in it than I at times, “Why don’t you just call me ‘Jonah’ and let it go at that?”
This morning was a typical pattern. I awoke at 4 a.m. thinking it’s a great time to write. I lay in bed ’til 5 before sitting up and leaning into God for a few moments. I stepped on the scale in the bathroom after washing my face and saw 3 additional pounds blinking back at me from the weekend indulgences. I took time to do a few calisthenics with the medicine ball before getting down to writing.
Dressed and ready, I sat down on the made bed to read a few pages of one of the spiritual books I’m reading, part of the usual morning routine. Then I headed downstairs for a cup of coffee and time at the computer.
Before writing the query letter to the publisher, I read through a few chapters of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Published to refresh my memory of the basic elements needed for the letter. I made a few notes and then opened the computer. An important update for my computer flashed on the screen. I agreed to install it. A new window popped up informing me that installation could take up to an hour.
I head to the kitchen for breakfast and grabbed the paper and a novel to read while I waited. I finished my two blueberry pancakes with fat free syrup sprinkled with ground flax and psyllium seed for fiber and indulged some delicious moments reading fiction, a rare treat for me. After a few pages, something I read birthed a new seed of an idea for the query letter. I recognized it as a God moment. He just won’t let up on me.
“Okay. Okay! I’ll write the damn book!” I wrote on a scrap piece of paper pulled from a stack for just such purposes.
I reluctantly left the novel and returned to the computer which was done updating and just needed a restart. Obdurately, I chose to type this blog post before the letter. Just call me Jonah. With the unrelenting help of God, I will eventually get it and the book done. Thankfully, He is full of mercy. I don’t know if I’d ever have His patience with such resistance!