Friday, September 2, 2011

Sometimes you're the windshield...Sometimes you're the bug

I posted that as my Facebook status today.  A friend commented, "sometimes you eat the bar...sometimes the bar eats you..."  Yes!  Yes indeed!  And that bar for me is perfectionism, getting it right, doing well, making others and myself proud...oh dear!  Why, why, why do I do this to myself...

I posted that facebook status because I am frustrated with the Church (as in the gigantic human organization that is ruled by its own sense of bureaucracy and entitlement).  How did we get here?  Who knew that the priesthood was full of administrative tasks?  Things like making sure the membership roles are in order (when, in fact, it's been 30 years since anyone really spent time on them).  Or organizing the newsletter, proofing bulletins or thinking about the table set-up for Christian Formation.

When I signed up to follow this thing we call "a call" (as if I actually heard God's voice on the other end of the phone saying "You Shall Go To Seminary" (I didn't by the way.  It was more like a subtle voice guiding my heart and mind towards doing ordination)), I imagined moments of prayer, sitting with others as they made difficult and not-so-difficult decisions, studying the Bible and reading some good theology.  I do do these things.  Just not as much as I'd like.  I'd rather invite you to serve on vestry (our governing board) than spend my time determining who is actually eligible to serve.

This leads me to my point: today I'm the bug and I also feel like the windshield.  I feel torn between being an administrative leader, which demands my integrity to the order of the Church, and a pastoral leader who invites others to fully realize their vocation and ministry (whether or not they are actually on the membership roles or not...)  If you know me, you know I'm a rule follower.  You also know that God gave me a subversive streak.  If you don't know me, consider that a confession.  Today I sit wondering how to balance those two and giving thanks that our way of being Episcopal invites us to collaborative leadership.  In other words, ultimately I am never a bug or a windshield by myself.

In the meanwhile, I have a sermon to finish, more sermons to post, a Dorothy Sayers mystery calling my name, a knitting project that needs some TLC and a family who deserve my best more than anyone else.

Like I said, sometimes your the windshield; sometimes you're the bug.  May God grant us courage to be both.

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