One of the things I attempted to do in 2012 was to write a book manuscript, on vocation: the calling on each one of us to be someone in particular and to do something in particular; to receive ourselves as gift from Jesus and to offer ourselves back as gift to him and for the world.
This was a fascinating learning experience. I learned that I have allies, who believe that I have something to say that is worth saying – indeed, I embarked on the project not out of some need to do so, but because I was encouraged to do so by others whose opinion I value. I learned that people in the publishing world might take me seriously. And I rediscovered just how short and wide my attention span is, flitting from one thing to another. That I am not likely to write a full-length manuscript (at least without a sabbatical from any other commitments); and that a series of papers might in fact be a better way of saying the things that I want to say, creating a little reference library, each volume being a conversation-starter in its own right.
And so as the year comes to a close, I have put out the first and second in a series of papers online (with a permanent link from the sidebar of this blog).
The first paper is perhaps the bones and internal organs, as yet lacking the flesh we recognise as familiar; or the foundations and core structure, the visible building yet to be entered: things that are essential, but will remain hidden to most.
My intention over 2013 is to produce several much shorter papers, filled with stories that illustrate what different kinds of apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers look like – to help us to see ourselves, in the nuance of our calling; to receive ourselves as gift from Jesus and to offer ourselves back as gift to him and for the world. The second paper looks at apostles.