If you and I were acquaintances running into each other on an elevator and you asked me how work was going, (if it was a slow elevator and I knew we both had to go all the way to the top) I might tell you that I'm trying to write a book. This was never the case in the past, even though I've been working on it for a couple of years now. Almost no one beyond my wife knew about it before I made it public here on the blog a few days ago in an effort to try to get unstuck on the project. Even my Mom was surprised to find out about it, just as I was surprised to realize I'd never mentioned it to her. I don't intend to be this way, but apparently keeping things from people is one of my greatest natural abilities- even when I don't know that I'm doing it. So, if during that elevator conversation when I mentioned to you that I'm trying to write a book, you did the polite thing and said, "Oh really, what's it about?" I would try to respond like this:
I'm calling it Live Prayerfully: Three Ways Ordinary Lives Have Become Prayerful Throughout the Centuries. It's for people who sincerely want to grow in their attempts to pray, but, like most of us, wouldn't normally access the rich guidance passed down through history about how to build prayerful lives. Often this guidance is in old language, or academic terms, or perhaps very abstract, so I am trying to pass some of the core pieces of that guidance along in fresh and relatable ways by writing about how we can pray with other people's words, pray without words, and pray with our own words, as well as guiding readers into participating in each of those ways of praying. My experience has been that putting those kinds of prayer together allows them to build off of one another and helps the times that we have set aside for prayer to spill over into the rest of our lives, making us more prayerful people.
So now, let's say that you're not just an acquaintance on the elevator, but a really good friend whom I've said this to... what's your reaction?
PS: My wife says that this description may put some of acquaintances to sleep by the time we reach the top floor on that elevator ride. If you agree, your comment can be something like "zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz".