Going over the syllabus the first day of class, our professor told us he didn’t accept late assignments. “Like you take points off for each day the paper is late,” one of my fellow classmates asked. “No, I don’t accept it at all. If it’s late, you get a zero.” Given that our class was filled with future parish ministers our professor said, “Whether you are ready or not Sunday’s coming; the congregation is counting on you to lead them.” Talk about a swift kick in the…
I didn’t want to write this post; I was busy and am transitioning into a new call—and like the future Rev. Dr. Josh Kerr said in the previous post, transitions are hard. I had meetings to attend, a sermon to write, pastoral care to provide and I was late for a Rotary club meeting I was invited to attend. Robert texted me to ask if I was ready for a post; I told him I’d like to wait until next week—I was too busy. Then he gently explained how that would throw off the entire writing schedule for the next six months and that the rest of the blog crew was counting on me. A swift kick in the… landed and I was transported back to the first day of class and my professor’s words resonated in my ears anew. I thanked him for reminding me that despite my best efforts to believe otherwise, not everything is about me and that others are counting on me.
Who provides you with a swift kick in the…? When we’re in school or growing up our parents (or guardians) and teachers provide those swift kicks. One of the biggest transformations occurred after I graduated from Divinity school when I realized I didn’t have to follow any syllabus or professor’s mandates. Suddenly I could read what I wanted when I wanted to. I found myself lost as I was consumed by all the possibilities. Then Sunday came around and provided me a swift kick in the…I wasn’t prepared and the youth knew it. They were counting on me to lead them and I offered nothing but a dud.
To those of you who aren’t ministers or church workers—know that someone at church or your place of worship is counting on you. This isn’t a post just for ministers to remind us that preparation matters; no, it is a reminder to everyone who sings in the choir or serves as the acolyte or recites the prayers and sings the hymns while sitting in the pews that someone is counting on you. You provide something to someone in the worship space. Moreover, each of us provide something to someone in our daily lives—sometimes we just need a swift kick in the… to remember.
Who’s the person in your life who can provide you a swift kick in the…? What story or experience reminds you that your work matters to others?