Not Good Enough

This article is an entry in the MAI Devotional Writing Contest. Try your hand at a 400-word devotional to encourage fellow writers worldwide. Check here for contest guidelines and rules.

By Gaya Manigo, Philippines

I’m a nitpicking writer.

On some days, I find myself reworking already released stories. In writing this short devotional, I have gone back to previous sentences at least thrice, revising along the way. Months from now, I will probably scan through this, wishing I had done it better.

Trouble is, my nitpicking extends to other things. I see faults, imperfections, and errors in my vocation, my family, and me. I would bark at my younger sister for using, and sometimes misplacing, my favorite pens. I would argue with my mother over her hairs left sticking on my bath soap. “Moisturizes my scalp,” Mama says. “You should try it.”

I don’t realize how much of a nitpicker I am until I go to Vietnam. I arrive at a Vietnam-Papaija2008-Freedigfarming village, where I am about to interview a Christian pastor who is imprisoned for sharing his faith with others and for starting a house church. My interpreter goes ahead of me into the house, but before she does, she takes off her sandals and walks barefoot. I hesitate to follow suit. I imagine metal spikes and glass shards piercing through my heels and soles. I envision ants feasting on my toes.

You should try it, goes my mother’s wisdom. I have no choice, since the interview can’t be done outside the hut for security reasons. So, I take off my walking shoes, place them by the door, and step inside. I smile at my host, while I squirm in my thoughts. A few minutes into the interview, my toes start to dig into the soil; it is red, soft, and cold. It feels good.

Later on, I would feel bad. I fixate on something so trivial when someone so important is right in front of me–the pastor for whose story I have risked my limbs and my freedom. I resolve that things would be different the next day. Since then, I’ve plunged into murky rivers, climbed cliffs, and ridden on top of vehicles. I’ve come a long way, but I’m not there yet.

Because as soon as I return to my desktop, I look through some old stories and my nitpicking returns with a vengeance.

Love is patient… it keeps no record of wrongs. (1 Cor. 13:4-5)

I pray that you’ll be more gracious and loving, my fellow writer in Christ.

Gaya Manigo* was born at a time when folks say there’s no money in writing. She wrote a few children’s stories while in college. One got published, Naiwan si Botoy, in a major broadsheet’s junior section. Gaya won’t be surprised if you haven’t read it. (*Pseudonym)

Wait, there’s more! Did you enjoy this article? Click the Facebook “Like” icon to vote for it in the MAI Devotional Writing Contest. The entry posted with the greatest number of Likes will win the People’s Choice Award and $100 USD.

Enter the MAI Devotional Writing Contest. Pen a 400-word devotional to encourage fellow writers worldwide. See contest guidelines and rules.

Photo above by Papaija2008, Freedigitalphotos

Scroll to Top