My neighbor across the way has a drum set. He likes to practice in his garage, with the garage door open. During the time that I’m fading in and out of consciousness on my couch while the boys are contained in their rooms for Quiet Time. Today it sounds like he’s hitting a little old school U2, or at least I’m choosing to hear that. When he breaks out the electic guitar, it’s a bit harder to be selective in my interpretation.
Oh, how I love Rattle and Hum Bono. Fling my hair Bono. Strut around like the proud Irishman that I am Bono. Not care that my pants are almost up to my mid-chest Bono. Take everything so seriously and piously Bono.
I wonder how he looks back on himself. I rarely let photos be taken, and especially never video, because I just cringe. Really? I wanted to wear that? I said that? I acted that pompously? I was that self-assured?
I rarely reread my journals, and I often even wonder about obliterating my blogs someday just because: oy, it’s just so much.
Right now I’m facilitating my Sunday School class. They didn’t have a specific topic in mind, so I picked something that’s been on my radar as of late: how is the church called to respond in these economic times? But it’s intimidating because it’s a) my sort-of peers (some used to be youth leaders of mine, some are my parents’ friends) and 2) I am a humanities major who often runs from things involving “finance” and “economic” and “projected” or just “numbers”. I have no answers to this topic, but “like a splinter in my mind, driving me mad”, I can’t ignore it.
So I started reading, because that’s what I do. I read a How to Budget/Finance Christian-style book. Then I read Ron Sider‘s “Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger” followed by Arthur Simon (founder of Bread for the World)’s “How Much Is Enough?” Apparently that was enough, and yet not enough.
My first sharing on Sunday went …. enh. I was just really scattered. Even if I can find time to pull my thoughts together, my brain doesn’t focus lately. And there’s just so much to share. And how to share my journey in a way that’s an invitation for others to explore their own journeys through crises and what helped, rather than a “we should…” or “we shouldn’t” nagging/OT prophetic kind of presentation. I have an idea of where I want people to go … but is that where God wants them to go? How to let go of that control stick ….
Then during Sunday morning worship we were reflecting on our time in James. You know, James, where there’s this doozy of a passage. Also after finding out that a sort of church plant, right across the street, that we thought wanted “independence”, is in need of help. And the typical thoughts are, “Oh, well, they must need financial help in this time, because they don’t make much: giving must be down.” It’s true: their congregation is made up of folks who struggle for most of the income they make. And yet their giving is *UP*. 2 Corinthians 8 was SCREAMING in my head. And yet I didn’t know if I should share that in Open Worship. Why?
Because I might look pompous. I might come across as idealistic and passionate. I might look like Bono Bulleting the Blue Sky. I might look like a boob, but such a self-righteous boob.
So I cop out: I come home, mull it over, and throw it up on my blog where maybe it won’t come across so intensely, or at least be heard by so many people.
But sometimes I wonder if this intensity that’s in me is really going to drive me mad. Maybe a good rock-out to the neighbor’s drums is truly a God-ordained thing, or a quick YouTube education for the younger tykes in the house on Uncles Bono, Edge, Adam, and Larry in their classic years: ‘well, the God I believe in isn’t short of cash, mister.’ (screaming fans).