Sunday, June 5, 2011

Signs You've Just Given Up*

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.

7 comments:

J.R. Lander said...

Kathy Griffin isn't appropriate sermon illustration material?!?!?!

prayingcarver said...

You might try South Park. I have a priest friend who could get really good sermon ideas from those little delinquents!
Imagine the book "the Gospel according to South Park!
Move over Peanuts!

prayingcarver said...

And what's so bad about a kazoo and bagpipe band!?

Nikster said...

"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."

Thank you for saying this. As a woman in my late 20s with no dating experience whatsoever, in order to acknowledge what could be true, I'll sometimes ponder out loud that it may not be in God's perfect will that there be a Mr. Right (though I do hope so); still, loving and well-meaning friends will shoot back with various out-of-context verses and a strong assertion that, "If it's your desire, He'll give it to you!" That one irks me big time. After all, many women who have wanted children have died childless, and many who have prayed for marriage never married. It's not unheard of, and I think it's healthier to acknowledge that.

So, thank you for what you said, because however much my common sense tells me otherwise, I find myself wondering if what they're saying could be true and that the real reason is that I don't have enough faith. Oy. Gotta love that human insecurity and self-doubt. :)

Surreptitious Evil said...

But, wait a cotton-pickin' minute.

What about flaked Parmigiano Reggiano, with Parma ham, on rosemary bruschetta, your choice from the Green & Blacks range and a suitable red (I'd go for a Fleurie with that but tastes vary!)

Entirely suitable for a beach dinner!

Diane said...

"what sabbatical?!" she says grouchily. my congregation has not heard of this. my senior pastor was always too embarrassed to ask for one for himself, or for any of his colleagues.

prayingcarver said...

My partner, lover of the banjo, said: a bagpipe and kazoo band is totally unacceptable without banjo.

And I quote a bumper sticker on a parishioner's car: "Paddle faster! I hear banjo music!"

Eeekkkk!