On Being a Timothy
Because this is the look he gave me when I asked him about this topic when our families had lunch on Sunday. The topic? Being a Timothy. I asked if he'd ever preached on it (he's currently a youth pastor) and he hasn't, but he talks about it all. the. time. (as attested to by my husband) That's not to say we talked about it much that day, but at least there's a pic to make us all smile ;).
So who's Timothy?
|Alley Cat Casey Herringshaw with the fabulous Julie Lessman; Me then Pepper with Ruth Logan Herne; Casey with Tina Russo Radcliffe
See, Paul is Timothy's mentor. That makes Timothy the mentee (but not, however, the Mento) or disciple. Paul was put in Timothy's life to teach him. To train him. So that one day Timothy could train others. So Timothy could become Paul.*** One day, Timothy would become the mentor and train others. Okay so. Paul. Timothy. They've got a good relationship going on. Paul is sharing his wisdom, the things he's learned throughout his years spreading the Gospel and communicating with God with the next generation. Timothy is soaking it all up. But then who's Barnabas?**** Barnabas is the guy who worked with Paul. His contemporary. In many ways, Paul's equal. But he is very appropriately named. Barnabas means "son of encouragement". He was the one who encouraged Paul, helped Paul, traveled the road with Paul.
Application to writers
|One of my favorite Barnabases|
At some point, all of us start out as a Timothy. We don't know much of anything about how to properly format for contests. Or which agencies you can query multiple agents and which ones you can't. Or where the best blogs are to find this stuff out. We all need a Paul (or two or three or seventeen) to help us figure that stuff out. Sometimes those relationships turn into something long term.
Sometimes it's a simple email from a favorite author saying "Check out ACFW. They rock and can help you from here." Sometimes it's for a season (for instance, just one manuscript). Pauls will read through manuscripts or parts of manuscripts or contest entries and help you figure out how to tone down the dialect or point out where you're telling when you should be showing - and maybe, just maybe, when an adverb really is the way to go. And we also need a Barnabas. Someone who's right where we are - or who has been recently. That person who is struggling through poor contest showings on that manuscript you - and they - thought was going to be the big breakthrough. Who cry with you when you accidentally kick an editor out of his/her seat at dinner (don't ask). Who convince you that hiding out in the hotel room for the next three days *isn't* the answer. Who know just what to say when you cry the following: Why am I wasting my time? And everyone else's? And the money that goes into contests and conferences and web hosting and everything else?
How it applies to YOU
|Me with two of my favorite Pauls - Candy Calvert and Beth K. Vogt|
|Me and my Pepper - a Paul and a Barnabas (and I'd like to think sometimes I have something to help her so maybe a Timothy, too) wrapped up in one pretty package|
Because you can't sing and I'd hate to see you humiliated on national television." One day you might be the Paul (because, believe it or not, if you've been doing this for any amount of time, you know SOMETHING you can use to help someone else). The next day you might be the Timothy. And another day, you're the Barnabas. All in the same relationship.
I struggle almost daily with feeling too much like a Timothy. Always taking. Never giving enough back. Always needing that extra support. Wondering when my friends are going to turn their backs. Or ignore their phones/emails because it's "that Carol again." I do what I can. Give back what I can, but maybe it's something inherent in all writers, not just me. That feeling that no matter what we do, the relationship isn't symbiotic******. That we're the parasites and our friends, the hosts, will eventually walk away.
|Me with Jessica, Kristy and Joanna - three of my Pauls, Barnabases and Timothys|