Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stand Down

That’s a military term. “Stand down” means to back off, to decrease your level of preparedness, to go from a war footing to something below a war footing. I understand that NORAD was on a war footing from early in the Cold War until a day in 1993, after the Soviet Union had disintegrated, at which time the order came, “Stand down.” Thirty or forty years of war condition went away in a two word command.

That’s what I’ve sort of did yesterday. I received an e-mail from our associate pastor who heads up the educational activities of the church, including Sunday school (life groups). He said we would have a meeting of adult class teachers on a certain Saturday in June, at which time they would be unveiling the curriculum for the coming months. He didn’t reveal when that curriculum would start, or how long it would run.

Our class was in the midst of a study, a video series by Rick Warren and Chuck Colson called “Wide Angle: Framing Your Worldview”. It is six video lessons, but each lesson had three parts. We were taking our time with it, doing one part a week. Only five weeks into it, that made thirteen weeks to complete the series.

We interrupted that, however, to do our all-church study, “Ashes to Fire”, running from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost. That will finish in June. We figured thirteen weeks was covered after that, through Labor Day. I was working on my study, Essential John Wesley, for that time, and having to rush to have it ready—if I could even have it ready. But now, we will have other all church curriculum. How long will that run? I don’t really know, and in an exchange of e-mails the associate pastor didn’t give me any hints. I think it’s safe to say it will run at least through the summer, maybe longer. The need for the Wesley study is thus pushed back till at least December, and maybe much farther.

So yesterday I stood down. I laid the Wesley study aside, and won’t pick it up again (except to finish the one chapter I was on) until after the teacher’s meeting. That doesn’t mean I have nothing to write about. I’ll hop back on Documenting America, correct the few typos I’ve found, decide on a proper cover, and upload it to Smashwords. I’ll also figure out the CreateSpace platform and create a physical book out of it.

In a way it’s good to lay aside the Wesley study. While I feel that is an important work, it has turned into a more time consuming project then I expected. No doubt that’s of my own doing. A little space between me and it will be a good thing. In a month I can look at it again and make some decisions, unpressured by having to have it for teaching on a certain date.

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