Sunday, February 22, 2009

Inch by Inch

That's advice you always here:
"Mile by mile it's a trial.
Yard by yard it's hard.
Inch by inch it's a cinch."

I've often felt that the person giving such advice was running a two-mile race, not a marathon. Yet, I can see some truth in this in terms of my own life and the improvements I'd like to make in character and conduct, as well as the goals I have set for myself.

Take my weight, for example. Slowly over the course of about three years, I have lost 50 pounds. That was as of my scales moment Friday. Of course, that does no more than put me back to where I was on a day in June 2003. I've still got 54 pounds to lose to make it to the top end of my ideal weight range. So I have many more inches to go in this.

Take the Harmony of the Gospels I've been working on since, when was it, 2004? This is a project that for a long time I worked at between other projects. It started as a Bible study for myself, to use in teaching an adult Sunday School class and to satisfy my own curiosity about something. Yet, since then it has grown into a Bible study I am working on to be of publishable quality. Friday night I finished the second round of proof-reading. I have only one more step to go before I begin typing these edits and putting it in a format to share with my pastor. Only a couple of yards to go, inch by inch.

Take the book I'm reading, The Powers That Be by David Halberstam. I began this sometime before Christmas. A 736 page tome, I'm down to twenty-five pages to go, and likely will finish it tonight. Perhaps I was stupid for persevering through the whole thing rather than setting it aside after a hundred pages, when I realized that, while it was good, the reading was going to be tedious and I would be a couple of months getting through it. Oh well, persevere I did, and have only a few inches to go.

Take trying to be published. This is certainly an inch by inch proposition, as at this time I'm not prepared to self-publish. The problem is I don't know how long the journey still is, or even if there is a final destination. Possibly the inches are taking me along a race track with no finish line, and I will never be published. Or perhaps it is only an inch or two ahead. Either way, in the last couple of weeks I managed to move a couple of inches forward, mainly in my realization of where my writing is relative to publishing standards, and in seeing the next two or three inches along the way.

Other things in my life have also shown inched progress. And I'm thankful for that.

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