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:
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.
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:
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.