Saturday, July 19, 2008

Not Quite What I Was Planning

Sum up one’s life in six words. An article in yesterday morning’s newspaper was about a book that asks the reader to sum up one’s life in six words. The book, Not Quite What I Was Planning, contains more than 800 of the best submissions compiled from a contest in November 2006 at SMITH magazine. (We are not offering this title on our website or in our store at this time.)

My first reaction was, “What a silly idea. It is too minimalistic to try to reduce one’s life to six words.” And cynically, “Yes, let’s just continue to simplify everything and encourage minimal thinking. No wonder the world is in such a …”

Then I thought that it is kind of like the mental game about deciding what few items you would decide to take with you if you were going to a deserted island. “What items would you pack in a small suitcase?” “If there were a two or three books that you were allowed to take with you to a deserted island, what would they be?” These exercises help us to consider what is important in our lives and that is a worthy endeavor.

Such a mental game is okay. Perhaps attempting a six-word description of your life may be okay too.

I wonder what your six-word description would be.

These aren’t epitaphs for the grave marker.

They are an attempt to succinctly state what is important in life.

Here are some that I have come up with:

God is love. I am human.

I am here. Can I help?

More about you. Less about me.

You’re okay. I’m okay. Let’s go!

God is here and that’s sufficient.

Abundant thanks to God from me.

Family, Ministry, Community. Relationships help us.

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