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. Throat parched and stinging. Left nostril inoperable. Wife MIA. Snooze.
6:18. Snooze fail. Out of bed, hoping hot shower will free nasal passage, soothe throat, and prepare confirmation lesson.
6:47. Ironing. Wife enters the room carrying blanket and pillow. “Dude, you snored like crazy last night.” Before I can explain, she’s passed out on the bed and snoring herself.
6:58. Tripping over the remains of daughter’s “T.V. tent.,” yesterday’s home improvement project: her play tent in the middle of the living room surrounded by blankets and pillows.
6:59. Tiptoing around T.V. tent, foot presses something squishy into the carpet. Orange. Nice.
7:11. Tall coffee and a multigrain bagel. Toasted? No. Sliced? No. Cream cheese? Well not if it’s not toasted or sliced.
7:37. Working on afternoon youth group plan. My savvy refusal to purchase the companion activity book to our curriculum is only now showing its weakness: no activities.
9:12. Confirmation class has two students and 12 donuts.
9:24. Student asks, “Why does it seem like Jesus doesn’t want to hang around with rich people?” Before answering, pause to thank God for attentive youth.
10:06. Acolyte nails the call to worship and I nearly applaud.
10:08. Daughter prancing with her playmate during the opening hymn. Hearing it was Quasimodo Sunday, she’s come dressed as Esmerelda. She’s in for a disappointment.
10:51. Awkward pause during the communion liturgy as I wait for Memorial Acclamation to begin. Wait, that’s after the Words of Institution. Someone in the sanctuary starts whistling.
10:56. Head of Staff and I stand atop the chancel steps waiting for elders to bring communion elements back up the center aisle. It’s quiet, and we can see them fussing in the narthex trying to get ordered. A phone vibrates in a pastor’s robe pocket, and it ain’t mine.
11:03. Parish Associate quotes entire first verse of “Draw Us In the Spirit’s Tether” as impromptu Prayer After Communion. Teach me, Obi Wan.
11:35. I’m the last one to show for the Christian Education Commission meeting. Punctuality fail.
12:46. Wife texts that she’s taken daughter out by herself for the afternoon. “I thought you’d need to rest.” Reply only “Thank you.”
12:59. Stopping for takeout pizza on the way home, eager to eat it and watch the rest of the Royals/Phillies game.
1:25. Choking on pizza as Royals nearly choke away a five run lead in the ninth. This could ruin my afternoon.
1:27. Text to Phillies fan friend: “nonononononononononono!!”
1:35. Royals narrowly escape. Put away T.V. Tent happily and lay down for nap.
1:42. Texting high school youth about evening gathering before nap.
1:43. Noting to do items for the week before a nap.
1:44. Checking next Sunday’s lectionary texts before a nap.
3:00. Wake up to sound and smell of nextdoor neighbor preparing barbecue. Certain I’ve slept through youth groups. Panicked.
3:06. Legs wobbly as I make coffee.
4:02. Killing my sore throat singing in the car on the way to Jr. High youth group.
4:43. Connect Four nemesis wins again. C’mon!
5:02. Among hypothetical rules students choose for a new city they’d found are these: criminals get sent to space; no old people/hippies; 65% of budget must be spent on space research; no stealing.
5:58. Drop a giant dollop of whipped cream but catch it with my shoe before it hits the carpet. Student announces, “Ninja . . .”
6:55. High school student arrives with tea and no fewer than three home-baked goodies she’s prepared for a “youth group tea party.” Be advised: Doritos do not cut it in this youth group.
7:07 Adam Walker Cleaveland texts: “I played Grog tonight.” Recall text conversation from earlier in the week where I urged him to give the game another try with his youth group. Reply, “How’d it go?”
7:10 Response from Adam: “First time in 14 years of camping and youth ministry that a student had to go to hospital.” Gulp.
7:12. Relaying text conversation to students, who launch immediately into tales of injuries they’ve sustained playing Grog. Note to self: Grog is a menace. Never play it again.
7:40. Follow up question from Adam: “You play with the lights off right?” When I relate this question to youth, they groan collectively.
8:02. Soul Pancake check-in question: “Who cools your crazy?” New favorite phrase.
9:25. Home. Decide to sleep on the couch so as to not keep wife awake again. Check in upstairs. Daughter’s wide awake. She relates the details of her afternoon and then orders, “Go to bed old man!”
9:56. Firing up laptop. Instant Message pastoral care with a student home in Mexico for Spring Break. “God is with you.”
10:59. Finish Monday Morning Quarterback.