Alas, not a book, but a “novel idea” as in “a fictitious prose narrative of book length, typically representing character and action with some degree of realism.”
In this sense I’m going to use “fictitious,” as in, “not really feeling it.” The emotions do not match my first instinct, or my fleshly desires, so it feels fictitious. Not really authentic, but still having some degree of realism.
This post is a bit tongue in cheek here, but while most people on the internet are very kind to me, helpful even, some actually motivating and inspiring, calling me to my higher self so to speak, I do also have my critics. About a dozen regulars who are quite comforting really, because should I ever become possessed by excessive pride or begin to think to highly of myself, there they are, just waiting on the side lines to catch me when I fall. Or at least…. to watch me fall.
So, I have a novel idea, quite a dreamer really, but what if instead of gleefully celebrating the complete and total wrongness of me, wrong-headed, faulty thinking, definitely a threat to all we hold near and dear, what if said people took it upon themselves to simply come alongside of me? That would requite quite a leap of faith, I get that. I mean one would have to really place their trust in the Lord, to totally trust that He who began a good work in her, plans to finish a good work in her. Or as it says in Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ..”
Or in more informal words, trust that the Lord has me tightly in His hand or on a short leash if you prefer. I actually cannot go floating out into the cosmos too far because I am tethered to Him. Almost like an umbilical cord, really, a lifeline. That seed has been firmly planted, found good soil, and grown phenomenal roots, roots so powerful they’ll rip out the entire septic system and tear up the sidewalk…
For my non believing critics, this does present a problem, because we are going to need a completely different analogy. Quite crazy on the surface I’m sure, but what if you were to set aside your absolutely and totally objective, reason based observation, that one that suggests I am indoctrinated and incapable of critical thought? What if you were to set that idea down for a moment consider the possibility that IB is rather sane, somewhat logical, and does have some wisdom and experience to share here? Don’t laugh, it’s just a suggestion. A novel idea, aka, a work of fiction, but one that insists on a certain amount of realism.
Or not, some novels are complete fantasy, fanciful really, so just go with it, close your eyes and feel the music, because even fantasy or sci/fi has some realism hidden within those words and pages or else we wouldn’t read it at all, we’d just fling it at the wall as I am prone to do with books that defy all realism.
So what does it even mean to come “alongside” someone? Because that really is my thought today, lurking in the background of this little foray into critics, novels, fiction, and roots ripping apart the septic system. I too struggle with these issues, I wrestle with what it truly means to come alongside of someone else, to lend them some support and encouragement, to trust that the Lord has ahold of them and that my job is simply service.
Long ago, long, long ago, one of those rare times I actually attended public school, I was on the track team, with some fabulous athletes of which I was not. Don’t get me wrong, I did generally well in my events, mid range. One day, our girl who was surely on her way to the Olympics, sprained her ankle, and I was the only one who could substitute for her. We had to simply compete, to mark our place and standing. Flat out we just needed a warm body to walk the darn race if necessary. I was reluctant to do this, knowing full well the odds of my being dead last were about 99%, that 1% still hovering out there just in case someone fell and broke their leg. So all in all, sure to be a humiliating experience, one where I got to display my complete lack of athleticism. And it was exactly that, dead last, I struggled just to run, lap after lap after lap. I actually stopped and caught my breath a few times, but then something amazing happened, some of the runners who had already finished and some of the moms came alongside of me and began to cheer me on. For the glory, for our school, for our warm body, our place marker….
Dead last I won the race that day, because of those who came alongside of me, because of the encouragement, the recognition of pride sacrificed for the greater good. Sometimes when you lose, you actually win. You gain the whole world, really.
That is the memory, the image I hold in my mind of what it means to really come alongside of someone. It changes everything, it rewrites the whole narrative, it makes winners out of losers.
I have a novel idea, let’s strive to look beneath the surface, to perceive ourselves as servants, and to come alongside of one another. That’s how we make the magic happen.