Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I don't ride rollercoasters anymore




"You're a warrior, Momma. You can do anything..."


Such was said to me by my son, Dustin, tonight. I was discouraged over a few things that have gone wrong and he could tell how distraught I was. I really didn't even want to watch Kid Nation with the family tonight, but I did for their sake. Beforehand I was laying on my bed and Dustin came in and hugged me and the sat and talked a while and encouraged me. He gives me hope for this generation.

The past few weeks I've just had a quadruple whammy of disappointments from people and sometimes it gets so tiring. I find myself wondering how people hold down jobs, or make it at all in this world. Somebody please explain this to me. If people treat their job anywhere near how they treat the house of God, how in the world do they keep a job for more than a week?

I don't ride rollercoasters anymore.

I make sure to tell my server every single time I eat at a restaurant that I need my salad or soup before my entree, or do not bother to bring it.

I ask for names of employees that I speak to when I make a hotel reservation and write down our entire conversation.

I will "cc" memos and overcommunicate things. Why?

1) Did you know that rollercoasters at parks are supposed to be checked and maintenanced every day? Most several times a day? I am not certain of this but I believe it's not just their employer's expectation, but it's the law. If the people hired to take care of rollercoasters act like 3/4 of the rest of the world's people, we are not safe. If they ARE being taken care of like they should be, then where in the world are they finding these people to employ who are so different than the majority of the rest of the world? Be afraid. Keep your feet on the ground.

2) If you do not tell your server that you want your soup or salad first, it will most likely come out 5 minutes before your meal arrives, or it will arrive with your meal. And then, what's the point? For some reason, these days the servers need to be told this information. You cannot count on them as the servers of yesteryear, to bring out your food in the proper order, timed appropriately. This is like a new revelation to many servers. You are not safe to just assume they know anything.

3) If you do not have the name of who you spoke to at a hotel or any kind of company, really, you will find it hard to prove that indeed, you are supposed to have a room reserved. Many of these people will say they have never heard of you, nor have anything listed with your name in their computer.

These are just things I have come to realize in the past few years. The fact is, it's hard to find anyone who is really committed anymore. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong decade, although I know God knows and does all things well. I find myself thinking, "Lord, don't you think someone with my values would have been better off living in the 40's or 50's?" I mean, I can be counted on like clockwork to do what I say I'm going to do, to be where I say I'm going to be, to deliver on time, everytime unless I would be really seriously ill, or...dead. When I mean seriously ill I mean incapacitated or hospitalized. Is this REALLY that hard? I will admit to you, I have many faults...and weaknesses. I can't do math to save my life. I eat too much sometimes. I lose my temper. But dear Lord, is it really that hard to just SHOW UP and BE WHERE YOU NEED TO BE and DO WHAT YOU SAID YOU'D DO? No, this doesn't take brain surgery folks.

So that my friends is why I don't ride rollercoasters anymore. If the person who fixes them overslept that morning, if their alarm didn't go off and they and decided not to show up or check out the ride before I got on it, chances are a bolt could be loose. If the person who maintains the coaster forgot that they'd be on a cruise with their wife the day I was coming to the park and the boss couldn't get another person to come in, I may just be riding an unmaintained ride. If the person who fixes coasters decided to take an extra long lunch and talk on their cell phone to their friends for too long that day instead of getting back to work like they should, it could prove to be a fatal ride for me or my friends.

By the way, I feel the same way about planes, trains and automobiles, but these things are necessary to do our work and get around in life, therefore I can't swear them off. If I could, I would. Because God knows the guy working at General Motors could be running his mouth to the person alongside him at the assembly line and miss tightening an important screw on my car that could send me careening to my death.

Yep. I have a very hard time trusting people because of the onslaught of apathy, lack of commitment, and poor work ethic that pervades our country, and yes, our churches. I get nervous to even trust somebody from the church to bring a plate of brownies when they are supposed to. I've learned the hard way to have the extra box of brownies in the cupboard in case they don't show up and Publix is closed.

I told Dustin tonight, "Please pray I'm 100% healthy until the rapture or pray that Jesus comes back tomorrow." He said, "why?" I said, "son, you aren't planning on being a doctor and I can't trust somebody else in your generation to show up and fix me in 20 years if something happens. They'll probably be texting somebody in the ER while I am gripping on to my chest gasping for breath."

"You're a warrior, Momma. You can do anything..." he says. Let's hope so. I've sworn off rollercoasters because I can't fix them and I don't really need them to live. But some things in life I really do need and if I can't fix them I have to depend on somebody else to help. And it's then that I just hold my breath and hope to God they come through.

I don't really know what the answer to this is for a pastor/pastor's wife or really anybody for that matter. Surely if you care about commitment, dedication and quality - you get as peeved as I do at times. Here's the thing...you can run around leaping tall building in a single bound, "saving the day" as I'm prone to do. Or, you could just forget about whatever it was that was supposed to happen and just let it go and not do anything about it. But then quality goes down, you end up looking stupid that stuff isn't done or really frustrated because you know the potential of how things could have been. It hurts to be the one racing around to "save the day" but it also hurts just to forget it and let it go because, first - things won't be as good as they should be and, second - everyone will notice the lack.

It's so frustrating it makes you just want to hurl yourself off of a rollercoaster...if you still rode them, that is.

What do you all do about this...especially those of you in ministry who depend on so many "volunteers"? The ways I cope (thus far) are - fitness walking, doing the elliptical, riding my bike, writing my feelings out...but sometimes I slide into other coping mechanisms such as - eating junk (like I did tonight, unfortunately), blowing up (done this way too many times), or working myself into such an exhaustion to save the day, I get sick. I can take drastic measures as I have done so many times to save the day, but my body shows it. I get colds, headaches, sometimes my eyes will involuntarily twitch from lack of sleep when I have to push the limit to get something done or do it all myself because somebody didn't do what they said they would do. Sometimes I have to take another job in the church that is essential to our existence because people quit or don't even show up. So, what have you done that helps? Besides the obvious - prayer and getting more into the Word?

Do tell. I would love to take your wisdom and apply it to my life although I probably won't ever ride rollercoasters again.

I don't want to end on a negative note tonight, although it felt really good to just vent all that. But here's five great things about today, to close this entry out:

1) I saw Ada today. She did my hair. Fantastic job! It looks great. What a great time we had talking. I always feel on top of the world when I spend time with her.

2) I feel good about my message for Friday night. I'm finished with preparation, I am just praying a lot about it.

3) I finished a ton of initatives today and prepared the way to have more prayer time for the outreach Friday.

4) Watched Kid Nation with my family tonight. Always a cozy time.

5) We had a good weight watcher meeting today. Later this week sometime I'll blog about our teaching.

G'night all. Thanks for listening to my rampling.

4 comments:

Pastor L said...

Preachin' to the choir, sister!! Having co-run a community theatre company (community theatre = UNPAID help = flaky people!) and lived and learned, my husband and I make it a policy to never plan any kind of even that the two of us alone couldn't pull off if it came to that. We've pulled off some pretty extraordinary events this way, but AARGH!! It is frustrating...

Deanna Shrodes said...

Well although I'm not happy for you that you have to go through that, it's comforting to know we are not alone...I think every pastor faces this and it's so frustrating. Just this week I read a statistic that said that on average your 'committed' church attender now misses 10-12 Sundays a year. Um, that's three months worth if they are missing 12. How in the world are we supposed to work with this? Somebody please clue me in. I'm sorry but if I wasn't a pastor - I WOULD NOT live that way. I hate it when people say, "if you weren't in ministry you'd probably do the same thing." NOT!

Missy said...

I have learned that sometimes I have to politely confront those that do not show up to find out what is going on. It's not easy and being a PW is even tougher. It seems as if people just assume that if you are a PW and a SAHM that you have all the time in the world to fill in when they don't show up! UGH! I sure am glad to know I am not the only one that deals with kind of stuff too!

The Gurnee's said...

I don't know you gals but I'm a PW and I can so totally relate..... I've not been able to get the hang of delegating. I finally, this year, gave it a try and guess what? Two of the three events that I delegated out were a complete disaster. Its just so much easier to do it myself, ya know? We pastor a very small country church so our resources (of all kinds) are drastically limited but sometimes I get so tired of "filling in the gap". Hugs to all PW's!!

Julie