PEOPLE TOLD ME NOT TO DO some of the best things I’ve ever done.
Colleagues advised me against quitting work at the denominational headquarters where I spent a dozen years writing and editing magazines and books. They said I shouldn’t give that up for something as risky as a freelance writing career.
Two million books later, not counting the ones I helped Reader’s Digest Books create, and it doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.
It did then.
Yet I felt compelled to do it anyhow.
I was thinking about that yesterday, while I was sitting at my desk with my eyes filling up.
I’m working on something that many colleagues and friends don’t seem to think is a good idea.
Instead of writing a book, which earns money, I’m doing something that costs money: creating a website called the Casual English Bible.
I don’t have a business plan for monetizing the project, other than selling $1 PDF downloads of leader’s guides and atlases—which wouldn’t buy the Keurig coffee it takes to produce them.
But it’s something I feel I need to do right now, for myself if for no one else. If Google Analytics is right, so far it’s pretty much for myself.
I’m finding that putting the Bible in my own words forces me to study in a more personal and more devotional way.
I was working in Philippians yesterday. And somewhere along the way I started to feel as though Paul was writing my letter for me.
Here I am trying to put his words into casual, everyday English. Yet, oddly, I find myself feeling as though these are my words screaming and fighting to get out.
Yesterday, this is what pushed me back in my chair and wet my eyes for a moment.
“I’m not perfect yet. I haven’t reached that goal. But I’m running hard for the prize at the end of the race. One day I’ll make that prize my own because Jesus Christ made me his own.
Dear family, I know I haven’ t made it my own yet. But I know this, too. Forgetting the past and all the baggage behind me, leaning forward I reach out for what lies ahead.”
Philippians 3:12-13, Casual English Bible
I hope this project is another one of those seemingly bad decisions that turns out well.
You never really know until you’re looking at it in the rear-view mirror.