|Clinton, friends, and what ministry might be
||[Jul. 4th, 2004|12:04 am]
I haven't posted a lot lately because it's been a strange and busy week.|
Clinton called on Tuesday to say that his father was in a coma. He'd been hospitalized for 6 weeks and in the coma for 6 days when he called. I feel terrible for him.
Even worse, I can't believe I didn't know. Well, I mean I can believe, I've been doing such a bad job of keeping in touch with people. Of course, the fault lies on both sides - other people haven't done a good job of keeping in touch with me. (People, like EZ and Shamrock who work night don't help.) A couple of weeks ago on a Monday, I actually set aside the evening to catch up with people on the phone. I called EZ, Athena, Clinton, Hunter, and one other. I made 5 calls and it took a way less than 10 minutes because I talked to 4 answering machines and 1 husband. How people stay in touch in our fast paced world, I don't know. I am especially losing touch with Athena (who I've known since 1983) and EZ (who I've known since 1985). He works nights and by his own admission "there is no good time to get me at home". I've almost given up calling Athena because every time I do, I either get the machine or her husband and he won't let me speak to her. Neither of them read my LJ either, so I'm reduced to sending my two oldest friends an update of my life once a week by email (edited from my journal).
I would have more energy for pursuing my friends socially if I wasn't burned out from having to chase people on the telephone in other parts of my life. I am so tired of calling the JYG and the YG to do head counts for events. And calling adults to volunteer for things like summer Sunday School - I think that people just delete my messages because they known that I never call unless I want them to do something. And I'm tired of chasing people in the SCA as well. For once in my life I'd like to be in the position of not needing people to volunteer or needing people to make up a magic number for a group discount or a break-even point on events. If I was ever in this position, then I could actually be in the position to turn people who showed up at the last minute away and for once the disorganized of this world would actually learn that procrastination has repercussions. As it is, because I take people to events who contact me at the last minute, it just reaffirms to people that they don't have to take me and my deadlines seriously.
I heard the best excuse for not doing something this week. A woman (L1)was a Sunday school teacher this year. When I asked her to take one Sunday of summer Sunday school, she said no and told me that she wasn't coming back to teach in the fall because ... she is trying to get pregnant. Wow! I didn't know you could use that to get out of things you didn't think were fun to do. I mean, I've been trying to get pregnant for over a year now, but I've still managed to hold down 2 jobs, dance, play in the SCA, and chase a toddler around. But I think I should start using it to get out of things I don't feel like doing:
"Are you coming to Parish Council this Wednesday?"
"No, I'm sorry, I'm trying to get pregnant."
"Can you help us put away tables?"
"I'd love to help, but I'm trying to get pregnant."
L1 (so named because her best friend at church (L2)'s name also starts with an "L") and L2 are really the bane of my existence at church. L1 and her husband ran the JYG when I came in 1999. She wanted to teach the grade 7&8 class that year because it was "her calling". Then she had a baby. Then, after her second child, she prayed for a child to babysit. She approached me (not me approaching her)in May of 2003. She told me it was "an answer to prayer". She looked after my daughter 4 days a week from mid July to mid October. Then she quit on me with 8 days notice. She came back this fall to teach the preschool class because it was "where God had gifted her". Well, she did stick it out for a year. Quite frankly, I suspicious of people who have been through that many callings in a five year period. Finding out things are hard work or that are not 100% fun 100% of the time are not necessarily signs from God to stop.
I can't help but think about Clinton and think about L1. Clinton has a B.Th. and a Masters in Pastoral counseling. I have no idea why he isn't ordained yet. Yet he never seems bitter about why he isn't ordained yet or why he is working at a job helping disabled students instead of doing something with his education. His dad went blind in 2002 and his mom had a stroke before Christmas of 2003. He would make all their meals for them, go to work, come home to look after them, and not really go out. He never questioned why his brother got to keep his mom's business going and get to go on business trips (like to South Africa). I don't know how he does it. Compare that to L1 who quits every ministry project she undertakes when the going gets tough, regardless of who she hurts. They're both believers and I don't want to in any way give the impression that I doubt L1's faith. It's just that I think Clinton more embodies what ministry is all about - for every glamorous moment of preaching a sermon or being in the limelight, there's a lot of behind the scenes hard work. And the work he does taking care of his parents and even how he helps disabled students at work is ministry in my books - even if the church hasn't given him a title for it.
High points this week:
-the fireworks on Canada Day. We hadn't planned on talking the Little One, but she woke up at the first bang. So, we just went across the street to the arena. You could see about 70% of them from there. She was "oooh"ing and didn't seem scared.
-lunch with Hunter on Friday
-After much phone-calling, the YG year end event was me and 4 teens. Couldn't get the group deal, but I had mini-golf tickets left over from last year. They went go-karting and we all played mini-golf. It wasn't a success in the numbers-game where if you get 40 teens to an event, you're twice as good a youth ministry as if you get 20. But, I got to talk to each of them and I felt like I connected a bit with each of them. Coming home I even got two of them to agree to teach Summer Sunday school next week! (Since the adults are all avoiding me anyway.) :)