Wednesday, April 29, 2009
ok, so this morning i had on my calendar "Student Series Performance, Memorial Auditorium, 9:30am" now a little history on these types of things on my calendar, when the elementary school bands/choirs perform, i try and make them. they're during the work day, so i'm in town, and almost all of our children are either in band or choir or both. i don't have any direct ministry with them...but these are the kids that are going to be in my youth group in 2-5 years, so i might as well be there for them now. PLUS the directors are members of our church, so i'm there to support them too.
ok, so i get to work at 9am this morning, turn my computer on, see the reminder, check my email then take off to the auditorium. as i'm pulling in, i see a massive absence of parents cars...in fact there's only a hand full of cars in the parking lots, but like 8 buses... well, i convince myself that this is so because it's the first performance (there's another one at 1pm) so they must just have a small crowd attending this one. so i'm walking in the lobby doors and the greeter (i think maybe a 4th or 5th grader) kind of gives me a weird look like, "What are YOU doing here?" (otherwise known as the stink-eye). doesn't faze me, i ask if everyone's in the balcony or on main floor, she says main floor. as i approach the doors i hear just kids' hushed murmur (which we all know rides somewhere between 100 and 120 dbs)...no worry, at the Christmas concert they had the students there to watch, that's what it must be.
so enter and find my seat...there's no parents there at all...hmmm...interesting. then i see my 6th grade teacher Mr. Graef (i went to a school 20 miles from worthington, i live a block away from him)...hmmm...interesting, why's he here? did he bring his class over? must have, the school must have advertised to area elementary schools...or maybe he's working in worthington now? don't know...
so the MC comes out and introduces the play, gives us the "turn off cell phones or else" speech, and promotes theatre etiquette (something i'm well versed in, but i don't think 4th and 5th graders really care). then the MC introduces, "Manzi is the story of...where this thing happens, then that thing, let's welcome such and such theatre company from St. Paul..." I hear a loud tire "SCRRRREEEEEEAAAACH!!!! (((((((SMASH!!!!))))))" in my head head...wait wait wait...who's doing what? theatre company? i thought...hmmm...interesting...
turns out, such and such theatre company from St. Paul was performing this short one act play for area students...hmmm...it was listed on my school activities calendar...you know, the one that has band/choir performances, football games, softball games listed...you know, the activities that STUDENTS participate in?!?!?!
ok, so it wasn't a total waste of time, it was well done, educated the children on Cesar Chavez and the birth of the National Farm Workers Association (something that's very relevant to our kids). but the simple fact that i was duped...hmmm...interesting.
so i got thinking about why i had allowed myself to be duped...if i would have put two and two together, i would have known, i would have figured out that this wasn't a normal performance, it wasn't a student performance, it was a performance for students. but nope...i just rationalized and kept walking.
now my question is, is this what we allow ourselves to fall into with our faith? now i'm an advocate for experiential faith and life. i think life is full of new and life changing experiences just waiting for us to come. but at the same time, do we allow ourselves to fall into different situations because we ignored the warning signals? how many times do we rationalize certain activities because we think we're above the situations only to fall victim to it because of our self inflicted blindness? what about in youth ministry? are there things that we can see the warning signs flashing brightly (maybe even annoyingly) but we ignore them in the name of tradition or pride? "i put this program together three years ago and it worked great before, maybe if i just keep at it it'll get better..." or maybe i'm an idiot.
back when i was in college, i had to buy a car. i had money saved up, ready to buy a nice car that was going to be my baby for a while. i found a couple cars that i liked, drove nice, both were in my price-range. it came down to two cars, so i asked a mechanic about the two...he told me to stay away from one of them...Ah, but that was the one i liked better...it was roomier, better gas mileage, sportier looks. so i went online and did some research. i found some reviews that literally said, "the (car name) should be vastly recalled because of it's faulty motor, this has to be the biggest lemon ever made. (the car maker) should be on the lookout for a large class-action lawsuit because of this car..." hmmm...but it drives soooo nice...
so i bought the car, drove it off the lot, got insurance, drove it home...drove it for literally ONE month...all of a sudden i can't get it started. so we pull it to the mechanic and ask them to look it over. i go in a couple days later (thinking it was something small) and ask about my car. i'm met with, "you got some decisions to make...the motor's blown, you're going to have to have this one rebuilt or a new one put in...you're looking at between 2500-4500 depending on what you decide..." WHAT?!?!?!?! i was expecting a $150 bill...not 2500?!?!?!!? and that's on the low end!!!
needless to say, i don't own that car anymore...made it two more years after the rebuild, then she died for good.
the point i'm trying to make is that sometimes we need to swallow our pride. i'm all for going against the grain, being an individual, not doing it like everyone else...but when you're Spidee-Sense is blazing at 200 dbs, maybe we should open an ear to God and start listening...cause i don't know if you know this...but Spiderman's not real, but God's voice is...are we listening?
have a great Wednesday!