Monday, September 15, 2008

Change and the Cable Guy

I've been delivering the Children's Message off and on for a few years at our tiny Presbyterian Church (active membership - 37!) but lately I've gotten several positive comments on them. I must be divinely inspired, because they have been occuring to me in the shower on Sunday mornings while getting ready for church, but they seem to work. I thought I'd share a few with you. Here's a little background on this one -
We have had trouble finding a Presbyterian minister to work for us (as have a lot of smaller churches) because we just can't afford to pay anyone a decent salary, but we've had a slew of really great fill-in pastors over the last few years. A wonderfully engaging woman filled our pulpit all summer, and it really looked like we might be able to hire her part-time. Alas, another church closer to her home had a full-time opening, and she had to take it. She's trying to support her family, and we understood, but the change was going to be difficult. Even my kids were asking what we were going to do after Jodi left, she had made that much of an impact on everyone. It occurred to me that change in life is inevitable, but that doesn't mean it's easy. Here's the Children's Message I gave the week after Jodi left.

Last week, the cable guy had to come to my house. One of our satellite boxes wasn't working, and this was frustrating. It's the one clear in the back of our house, the one the grown-ups watch a lot, so we called the company and they scheduled a service call. On Friday afternoon, a short stocky guy knocked on the door. He checked out the tv in the living room, and determined that one was indeed working fine (because he's the expert he couldn't just take my word for it...) and I showed him to the back of the house where the other tv was. I don't think he stopped talking for longer than about three seconds the whole time he was there.
"Wow this is a long house, you must get your exercise around here! So the other box is back here? Do you have them hooked up to the phone line? Is there a phone in this room, cause I think I'm gonna need one, depending on what the problem is. Okay, here it is, now where is this plugged in? Wow, this is an old box, you've had this for quite awhile! Where is the dish? Can I get out there to see it? Okay, let's just hook up my monitor to this outlet and see what we have here. Okay, I see the problem, you're going to need a new box! I've got one in the truck, let me just hike back up there and get it. Do I cross a border or anything coming all the way back here? I'm getting my workout today, huh? Okay let's get this hooked up and I'll just need to call in and get it activated. Good! You're all set - here's your new remote and please just sign here!"
Now the old box was big and black and had this tiny green light and a remote that fit really nicely in your hand - my thumb knew where all the buttons were. The new box is small and silver and it has a really bright blue light and the remote is huge but all the buttons are in new places, and the abbreviations are different. It works, but these changes take some getting used to. I can still find my favorite shows, it just takes me longer to figure out which button to press.
Scripture tells us that change is part of God's plan. You know that verse - everyone can sing along if you want: to everything (turn turn turn) there is a season... So changes at church must be part of His plan, too. We have a new pastor today, and while we are going to miss Jodi, I'm sure that Matthew will do a great job. And even though he's new, there are lots of things about church that haven't changed a bit. I see all the familiar faces in the congregation, Sunday school was the same group you've been with all summer, and things are all still in the same place as last week.
With my new remote, I can get new and different information about the shows I'm watching, and I can find out about the different channels, and I couldn't do that before, so I'm learning something new with the change at my house. I'm sure we're going to learn something new and different from Pastor Matthew too. Change is an adventure, and we need to trust that the changes God brings our way are part of His plan for us.

I'm not used to the remote yet. I have to hold it at arm's length and then some to see some of the abbreviations (and even then I don't know what they all mean yet), but I can still find CSI reruns to entertain me while I cook dinner, and that's what counts, I guess.
It's probably a good thing that the cable guy came. I knew I wanted to have my message be about change, but I was going to take in baby pictures of the kids and embarrass the heck out of them...

1 comment:

Susan Raihala said...

What a wonderful blog! I love your children's message, your writing, and your take on life in general. I'm bookmarking you right back!