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Setting: The Gulf of Mexico. Action: A 25 knot wind blowing from the north while we were traveling north = choppy water = a seasick dog = a mess. I needed something uplifting so I grabbed my phone and opened the article for the day by one of my favorite writers, Jonas Ellison.

“I’m giving up God for Lent,” the headline screamed at me.

What?! I could’ve stopped right there but instead I quickly read the whole thing. I was horrified and steamed and fretted. My disappointment multiplied by the second and after a while I went off to self-righteously grumble to the Captain. Who, amazingly, listened with a sympathetic nod of the head from time to time but did not comment.

I subscribe to a website called “Medium” where you can cross-post your “stuff” and if anyone posts “stuff” you like, you can follow them. Some writers are well-established and offer courses and mentorships of their own. I’ve been following Jonas, really enjoying his style, his material, his views and considered signing up for a mentorship. And now he comes up with this?

Something made me go back to the article, remembering a lesson I’d been taught about writing “catchy headlines” and “grab them” first paragraphs. I read the whole thing again, carefully. And again. And again. Stopping to think along the way.  I saw where he was going. Didn’t always like the “way” and the “words” but liked the end message. I waited a day and repeated the process.

I’ve joined him in the course he’s taking during Lent taught by philosopher/theologian Peter Rollins. I don’t do well with philosophy, I always feel they are trying to confuse me or play devil’s advocate. But I pride myself on having an open mind and then, what can I say, I’m the Eternal Student.

As for taking a mentorship with Jonas “I’m giving up God for Lent,” if he will take me, I probably will. The man is a danged good writer.

What lesson was there for me in this? There’s ALWAYS a lesson.

Mark 7:1-2 “Judge not, that you be not judged…..”


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