About the Condensed Gospel project.

I’m impressed that the idea of stitching together one Gospel out of all of them doesn’t sound as daunting now. I know I can do it in pieces. I know I don’t have to do it all at once. I’ve done other large projects like this and while it was unwieldy at times, it wasn’t impossible. It was actually kind of fun.

Half of anything is just getting over the idea that I can’t do it. Sometimes the only thing is to just get started and see. It never is as hard as I think it is going to be, whatever it is.

I read the whole Bible after years of thinking that I couldn’t. I’d spent the last few years reading everything else – all the Pern novels, all the Wrinkle in Time series, all of Dune, all of the Gateway saga by Pohl. I finally realized that if I could take the time to read all of that, I could take the time to read the Bible.

Stitching the Gospels together is entirely different to that. I’ll have four different things at once. Some of them will have the same story. Some of them will only have it once. Will I include different versions of the same story, or just the best bits? I’ll see as I go. Since I was able to put together all four versions of the Resurrection, then I know I can do this. I want to go back and tighten up that piece, to make it streamlined. I want to make it all one thing, instead of going line by line in each Gospel in order. Perhaps that will be part of this exercise. Perhaps I’ll start with that, since I’ve already worked on that section.

It is entirely possible that someone else has already done this, but I don’t care. I feel that I need to do this. Just because someone else has cooked banana bread doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t. I will learn something from doing it myself, no matter whatever it is. And I might uncover something new that the world has never seen. But if nothing else, I’ll have really deeply read the Gospels, and that is always a good thing.

I’m grateful for the online Bible translations these days. That is what makes this easier. I’m reminded of Thomas Jefferson who created his own version of the Gospels by literally cutting and pasting the sections together. He took out all the miracle stuff to show all the great moral teachings of Jesus. I’ll leave them in. They only add to a great story.

Now, am I being distracted? This is a huge project to undertake. The more I work on this, the less I’m working on pulling together posts for my book. But then again I don’t have a deadline on the book, and I don’t have to stop sorting. I have about 85 posts sorted as is. Even if I only shift over a few a day, I’ll be done soon, surely.

And, after all, this is the purpose of my writing. This is the core of my book. This is what I’m meant to write. All else is just preamble and appetizer.

Perhaps this is the reason that the Daily Office was down. I’d felt scattered with it anyway. I was writing articles on the daily readings but there was no order to my posts. I’d thought for a while about just starting at the beginning of the Gospels anyway, but then I was in the habit of reading the Daily Office so I kept on doing that. When it had a glitch I stopped, and I haven’t been disciplined on my own in the meantime. Perhaps this was God’s way of saying it is time to switch gears.

Start where you are.

Start where you are. It is uniquely yours.

Describe what you see if you are a writer. Take pictures if you are a photographer. Paint it, draw it, make a song of it.

This isn’t just physically. This isn’t just a place. Not only where, but how, you live. This includes who you know, what you do, how you play, all of it. Describe your environment inside and out. Show it off, and turn it around. Explain it, excuse it, defend it.

What was life like growing up in your house? What was your family like? What do these things look like now?

Tell what is and what was. Tell the actual, the way you remember it.

You may think that nobody cares about what you have to say, but strangely they do. Your perspective isn’t their perspective, so no matter how boring it may seem to you, it is entirely foreign to someone else. This is true even if they are from the same country, or same state, or same town. This is true even if they live right next door to you. This is true even if they are a sibling and grew up in the same house as you.

Your story is uniquely yours, and is for you to tell. Or paint. Or photograph. Or dance. Or sing. Or bead.

There are as many ways to tell your story as there are faces, as there are flowers. Try one or three. What can be expressed in one format can’t in another. What makes sense in one is senseless in another. Some are better at expressing different feelings. Try them all. Make up a new one.

But start where you are, because that is where you are. Start where you are and tell what you see. Start where you are and share it with the world. Because we are waiting to hear it.