the project is ash rembrandt the prodigal son i only pray when i am in trouble and I am in trouble all of the time

Dear Future Lance: The Project is Ash — and that’s what makes it beautiful

The best things I ever accomplish always immediately follow me:

  1. getting to my wits end,
  2. realizing that I am nothing, I am finite, I will die — meditating even on the circumstances that will attend my death and that I will only die in one of the many billions of ways that exist for man to die,
  3. admitting that my hands bring little more than ashes to the table — the project is ash,
  4. asking for help right as I reach out to serve these ashes to many people I respect – that I need help when I’m in trouble and I’m in trouble all of the time.

Finally:

5. giving credit where credit is due — because I’m not responsible for getting us here and I won’t be the one who gets us there.

As Chesterton said, “I did not make it. God and humanity made it and it made me.”

There’s also always a sixth step:

6. “HOW DO I FORGET TO TAKE THIS POSTURE EVERY TIME I TRY SOMETHING OF THIS MAGNITUDE?!”

Oh, and a seventh:

7. Months later, I remember how well things went and assume, in the back of my mind, that it was me all along.

Rinse, wash, repeat.

The project is ash until help arrives.

God willing, I’ll cut out step seven by the time I’m old as Gandalf. If ever I believe my work is done, then I’ll start back at one.

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