Monday Morning Quarterback

Monday Morning Quarterback

Note: Monday Morning Quarterback is a weekly post reviewing Sunday, the busiest, most stressful, most gratifying day in the week of a pastor/parent/spouse/citizen.

Song of the Day:


6:00. Alarm! Smash! Daylight Savings! Smash! Wife’s annual company banquet last night! Smash!

6:22. Planning adult education session about “family.” Opting against the suggested “draw a self-portrait” activity.

7:11. Compiling afternoon junior high youth group plan. One of the adult leaders had her wisdom teeth out two weeks ago; plan for her to do the meditation on suffering.

7:56. Slather leathery neck with Aquaphor, cursing dry air and eczema.

7:57. Notice Aquaphor ring coating the inner collar of my freshly pressed shirt. Wordsmith a few explanations in my head before chucking it in the laundry bin.

8:24. Printing reams of paper–adult ed. handouts, youth group lessons, 30 Hour Famine planning materials, adult ed. handouts (again: I misplaced the first stack). Wonder what the recent energy audit of our church office will find.

9:06. Standing in an empty high school sunday school room with the two teachers I cajoled into teaching one extra day. I was supposed to start confirmation today, but I double-booked myself and threw myself upon the mercy of my volunteer teachers. Their graciousness is being rewarded with empty chairs and a full box of donuts.

9:12. Ask adult ed. participants to conduct introductions my mutual invitation.

9:13. Realize mutual invitation only works when people already know one another’s names.

9:34. Someone suggests parenting is “like a calling.” Practically come out of my shoes to quote Martin Luther on family and vocation. Class swoons at the breadth of my wisdom.

10:09. I gave my order of worship to the acolyte. Now I need one to lead the prayer of confession. Ask Head of Staff for hers during the opening hymn, and she looks frantically for it on her seat before I point out that she’s holding it in her hand.

10:16. Successfully employ the words “cross,” “door,” “metaphor,” “peace,” and “supralapsarian” during the Children’s Time. They don’t know how good they have it.

10:43. Fall asleep during the Prayers of The People. Seriously. Like, out cold.

10:52. As acolyte is collecting the offering, I steal her order of worship to look up the final hymn. Don’t judge me. I had it first.

11:12. Conversations on the patio: depression, death, SAT’s. I am useless.

11:58. Sit down to lunch of salad and crepe to find a Facebook notification:

Screen Shot 2013-03-10 at 9.56.20 PM



11:59. Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike

11:59. Show notification to wife. No response. Insist, “It’s, like, a thing.” Four year-old throws crepe to the floor.

1:07. Recline on couch hoping for badly needed nap. Four year-old using my elevated shoulder for a chair. Channel Maryann McKibben Dana: “It’s resting time.” Daughter leaps from my shoulder as if from a diving board, exclaiming, “It’s play time!”

1:09. Four year-old covers me with a blanket and pats my back for a nap. Drifting . . .

1:50. “Daddy! When is resting time over?” Awake. Guilty.

2:00. Daughter wants to watch “Anastasia.” John Cusack and Meg Ryan? What’s not to like?

2:42. Planning games for jr. high while listening to Hank Azaria’s Russian accent yields strange game ideas.

4:37. Invite junior high student to babysit next weekend. In front of the other students, who, of course, voice their interest in babysitting as well. Marvel at my stupidity.

4:47. Listening to jr. high student respond to the question, “What’s the most difficult thing you faced last week” by recounting the plot of a movie he saw. “It was sad.”

5:22. Watching students respond to The Youth Cartel’s “Stations of The Cross” meditation making my day. They’re quiet and observant. A little uneasy.

5:59. [pant] Win [gasp] capture [wheeze] the [choke] flag [vomit]. Yep. Still got it.

6:23. Planning the 30 Hour Famine with group of 10 students from two different churches. Student next to me asks, “Wait. We don’t eat?” Funny you should mention that . . .

7:38. Decide chair basketball with high schoolers in the Fellowship Hall is a keeper when playing requires the directive, “No putting your hands directly in the trash can!”

8:16. High school student chooses prompt from Soul Pancake: what’s one thing you would un-do if you could? Stirring moments ensue as students and adults offer their failures and regrets to one another. Handle with care.

8:32. Questions That Haunt prompt:

Screen Shot 2013-03-10 at 11.00.02 PM






Students share experiences of God from work trips and retreats. Gratified. Students share their lack of experience with God. Grateful for their permission to one another to be honest.

9:32. 30 minute impromptu debrief with adult leaders come to an end. “I’m glad you guys are here,” I tell them. It’s more true every week, people.

11:04. Put the finishing touches on Monday Morning Quarterback.






4 thoughts on “Monday Morning Quarterback

  1. re: 1:07
    Dr. Suess has a lot to answer for with his “Hop on Pop” illustrations. The two sharp-footed yellow fuzzy creatures look altogether too happy about the hopping…I am assuming that if the shoulder was the diving board the abs were the pool?

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