About a year ago, one of us went to her then-boss to discuss her eminent adoption of the Cutest Baby Ever. His response, flowing with compassion and empathy for a single woman who had suffered several miscarriages and one failed adoption attempt was as follows: So, you've just given up.
Yes. Really. We couldn't make this up.
Giving up doesn't mean throwing in the towel on life. It does mean releasing expectations of what we think life should be and instead offering ourselves to what life can be. It means stopping ourselves in our tracks when we compare ourselves and our lives to others. Our life is a gift from God, and when we denigrate ourselves or others to build ourselves up or tear ourselves down (pick the poison), we refuse the gift of discovering our particularly snazzy selves. As some sage said, "We must be willing to release the life we've planned to accept the life waiting for us." Or something like that.
With that in mind, however, we were wondering about what would constitute warning signs that one had just given up on our fabulous selves, regaling our selves to less than. Here are our thoughts after a few days of vacation. After all, we love our Dirty Sexy Ministry Community, and we figured you'd want to partake in our vacation thoughts, however disturbed.
1. Pajama jeans.
2. Home shopping channels become regular viewing on Friday nights, and every night, for that matter, as if it were Law and Order. And you think the stuff is really classy. Because it would match your clergy shirts and pajama jeans.
3. Aerosol cheese, dark chocolate, and two bottles of red wine (because they were two for the price of one) seem like a reasonable dinner option. Fabulous always gets the good wine to bring out the full taste of aerosol cheese and dark chocolate, and good wine is never two for one.
4. Why go out when I can stay in and watch "Dirty Dancing: The Assisted Living and Artificial Hip Years"?
5. Kathy Griffin is an appropriate person to quote in sermons and in delicate pastoral situations.
6. You'd turn down a date with Liam Neeson because you have your knitting club that night.
7. Too many cats? Pshaw!
8. A mime ministry is just what the parish is lacking.
9. Klingon is a worthwhile second language to learn and will impress search committees when they see it on your resume.
10. Wearing a full bunny rabbit costume for the bishop's visit will be just the surprise that will make her/his day so memorable! What could go wrong?
11. Your sabbatical plans include hunting for Bigfoot, touring the country with a kazoo and bagpipe orchestra that plays traditional church hymns of the 18th Century, and competing in a high stakes Boggle tournament in Iowa.
*Warning: Written over wine and tapas on the beach. This is not high theology.