Thursday, July 13, 2006

Pity Party Cancelled

Don't you just hate some of the stunts God pulls?

I was all set to have a big Pity Party today. After all, it was 20 years ago today that I was ordained as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament. It was one of those 'mountaintop' moments: family and friends, a special piece by the choir, sermon by my ministry-mentor, a big luncheon, lots of feel-good moments.

And on the 20th anniversary? Well, I got up and put the laundry in the machine; cleaned up the hairball the cat had left on the floor; had my usual bowl of cheerios and fruit; found more grey hair in my head and beard; came to the office, where the stacks of unsolved issues and things undone were still waiting for me.

No cards, no calls, no party, no pats on the back, no Sgt. Pepper or any band marching around in the parking lot of the church. No one telling me how wonderful I am, or how much I have done for them. No email from Time magazine to interview me as one of the top preachers in the country. No call from the 'Today' show to comment on the latest crisis. It seems that no one noticed, or cares.

Boo hoo hoo! Poor me, poor me, poor me.

Then, I sat down to write my poem/prayer for the back of Sunday's bulletin, and the Holy Spirit reminded me of what this day and every day, what ministry, is all about:

i would prefer
to be left
leaning against the wall,
shuffling my two left feet,
watching the world
twirl by;
but you take me by the hand
to teach me
the dance steps
of grace;

when i walk near
the piano,
it shudders,
hoping
i will not sit down;
but you take my fingers
and place them on the keys,
whispering,
"play, play with joy, play!"

even with
the biggest bucket,
i can't carry a tune;
but you push me
out onto the stage,
introducing me as
the new soloist
in the Good News Choir.

i will celebrate your joy,
sing your hope,
play your love,
leaping and whirling
in your grace
forever!

Don't you just hate it when God does that?

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

1 comment:

Sojourner said...

Happy birthday and thanks for all that you share. I'm a new reader of your blog and finding great insight and a nice writing style here. I have those pity party days too. But you're so right: God moves the clouds and lets the sun shine. Peace, brother.