Thursday, September 17, 2009

On Not Taking Oneself Seriously

Yes, I got up and out on time this morning, because it was a breakfast meeting with a good friend, and we drank tea and wailed and gnashed our teeth about the challenges of organizations and what we'd do if we ruled the world, then we said "Thank you, Jesus" that our situations were so much better than others of which we know.

And then I went to visit someone in the rehab hospital who talked a blue streak about all sorts of stuff, some of which I probably didn't need to hear, but who was blessedly attentive when we prayed together. It gave the idea of centering prayer a whole new meaning. Glad this Someone is doing such much better physically; I hope all aspects of health will follow.

So I came home, with my lovely clerical shirt on, and was accosted by two dear young men in white shirts and black slacks - why do they all look a bit like James Dean without the edge? - who wanted to introduce me to the wonders of Mormonism.

I don't know if they thought a woman in a clergy shirt was confused or a prize catch. Suffice to say they did not succeed in converting me. I just laughed and and sent them off with my blessing. They may do some good to someone out there, in a way that I might not be capable of, but they weren't about to convert me. Hah!

And the next job that awaited me this afternoon, after feeling pretty good about solving the problems of the institutional church with my friend and praying in the hospital and fending off the Mormon lads, was cleaning out the cat litter box.

We are going out of town for two days, you see, and it was a needful thing to do for the comfort of the cats. (The black cat has now been renamed. from Spooky to Spew-ky, for her bad behavior in the midst of Morning Prayer the other day, when she let loose while I was praying the Psalm.)

And there is something about scrubbing out a littler box with Clorox Heavy-Duty Orange-Scented Wipes (not smelling like any orange I'd ever eat) while still in the clergy shirt, and remembering my nose just a teensy bit up in the air about all the good things I'd done this morning, that just got me giggling.

Because it may well be that the best, most honest thing I did thus far today was cleaning out the cat box. Simple. Finite. Measurable as to completeness. Of service to two of God's creatures. No expectation from me of them for anything but (one hopes) keeping their litter box activities within the confines of the box.

It's hard to take yourself too seriously when you're doing that task.

So I'm wondering how I'll take some of that with me tonight to the Vestry meeting. Not that they are cats, although our meetings sometimes feel like herding cats, not that they soil their environs, because they care deeply and broadly about the work that they do, in a way that would make the Lord smile broadly. It's more about my being there to provide a necessary service, not always creative but usually necessary, and doing it in a simple and complete and faithful manner. And taking the pomposity factor down several notches if I fall into that trap.

I wonder where the Mormon boys and the cats will be this evening around 7?

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