Through a glass darkly

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1 Corinthians 13:12)KJV

Monday, March 26, 2007

March Madness

No, I'm not going to post about men's college hoops (although I am pleased that UCLA is in the Final Four) but just about what's been going on this past month.

March is that incredibly long month halfway between my first paid holiday of the year (New Year's Day) and the next one (Memorial Day). For those of you who think that's totally uncool, remember I do get 13 or 14 paid holidays a year -just none of them are in the first quarter of the year. It is hard though, to hear about your friends getting MLK day, President's Day off while you have to go off to work. March is also the month that my regular sick leave gets zeroed out so the notion of taking a "mental health day" is not so attractive either. Taking a day or two of vacation is possible, but it seems dumb to use it "just because" and not go anywhere.

Anyway, in the midst of all this my life has had enough craziness and things to get me down that it's time to blog about them. Consider:

1. Actually it happened last month, but I'm now only recovering from the laughability of it. You see, just about a year ago my work group moved out of our building (and our lovely hardwalled offices) into what's called "the factory", in an area with a cubicle farm that holds several hundred people. The area we were moving into had been largely vacant for several months prior and the cubicles themselves (carpeting, paint) were in need of repair. We were told that there was no money for upgrades and that we had to vacate our old building as quickly as possible so that the leased people could be turned back to save money. So we moved and made the best of our surroundings.

Within three months after we settled in, word came that we would have to move out "temporarily" while they did the carpet and paint. They would do a sort of musical chairs -one group would move out and double up with others in an unaffected area while the cubicles were taken down, new carpet laid and then everything put back together. So six months after we had originally moved in the first group did that very thing and two months later moved back to their new digs, this time with the second group bunking in with them just before Christmas. Two months later (and almost a year exactly from when we first moved here) we were back where we started. Go figure.

2. Sometimes I think my church is inhabited by lunatics. The things we do for the short run seem to make little sense over the long run. There is always the tension between demanding excellence versus giving grace (I'm applying this to quality of effort). It makes me wonder why/how the same people who would not allow a plumber to come out and leave a faucet still leaking after they paid for a repair are folks who allow ministry decisions/leaders that are just barely okay or make excuses for failures like, "well, they did their best", "it's all we can do for now". (I don't have as much a problem when a person really tries and fails- what I do have a big problem is when they don't really give it their best effort and it fails, that there are some who make excuses for the other's lack of diligence, laziness or downright sinfulness.) I do not believe that's giving grace, something that we as Christians need to do with one another constantly, but rather it is an enabling of co-dependent behavior. It frustrates me to no end. (BTW, if you think I'm talking about you right now, I probably am!!!! See yourself and knock it off. Jesus deserves your best, not your excuses.)

Ok, that's it. I think I had more when I started out but I forgot what they were. When I remember, I'll post some more.

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  • At Tue Mar 27, 11:57:00 AM PDT , Blogger Laura said...

    boy, that was a rather mellow rant, but on point. (I especially like the parenthetical!)

    I do wonder how to initiate change. I'm thinking viral: "Viruses can replicate themselves only by infecting a host cell. ...Viral populations do not grow through cell division, because they are acellular; instead, they use the machinery and metabolism of a host cell to produce multiple copies of themselves." (

    So, there is my analogy. Now to consider the implementation...

  • At Thu Apr 12, 11:21:00 AM PDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I'm curious how saying the congregation has lunatics is actually pleasing to God? I'm more curious how "venting" online is benefitial to the Body of Christ, and more importantly your walk with God? We are called to build people up, not tear them down. You may want to take your own advice "See yourself and knock it off."

  • At Thu May 03, 12:02:00 AM PDT , Blogger Ann said...

    Anonymous (I love it when people hide behind this to critique),

    Although I was using the word lunatics more metaphorically, I think God would agree that there are "lunatic" behaviors in the congregation, as there are in any congregation of more than 2 people. A good definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. One of the crazy behaviors I see in the Body of Christ is people, while claiming to be Christians directed by the Holy Spirit, repeatedly doing things that are unethical if not down right sinful and wondering why their efforts are not blessed by God. This is extremely frustrating to me because it takes so much away from what we could be as a church. I've spoken to my pastor on this subject many times and he seems frustrated about this as well.
    As to whether or not this post is beneficial to the Body, we are not better served by pretending we don't have problems. We sometimes have to identify harmful behaviors and then call those involved to "sin no more". It is meant to be thought and dialogue provoking. Perhaps I hit a little too close to home for your comfort.


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