Thursday, May 18, 2006

Ready or Not

So I'm sitting by the coffee pot at the orthodontist's office, totally engrossed in the "want ads" of the paper while looking for that second job to help make ends meet, fighting back a headache, juggling thoughts related to Compass Church's strategy for the summer, Leona's return from camp on Friday, the relatives I have to pick up from the airport tonight, when in the world I can meet with our Team this week, while trying to discover a way to write shorter opening sentences for blog posts, when my intense and focused world in a bubble is interrupted by the lady who is usually behind the desk but who is now making a fresh pot of coffee.


If that was a bit much to chew, listen to it here:

this is an audio post - click to play

"How are you doing, today, Sir?" she asks, while going about her task.

Slightly dazed, it takes me a few seconds to realize that she's talking to me.

I slightly shift the "want ads" in my lap and respond with what sounds like the first words out of my mouth this morning. "I'm doing ok, how are you doing?"

"I'm fine," she responds.

I look back at the "want ads" and at the last lead I had written down: "Seeking key person to help grow our business," when she speaks again.

"So, do you have a lot of activities planned for this summer?" she asks, still working on the coffee.

"Activities? Summer?" I'm thinking. It takes another second or two for it to register that she is talking to me again.

"Always a lot of activities goin' on," I manage to mumble, immediately becoming consious of the fact that I need to clear my throat. My headache feels like it's allergy related.

I look back at the "want ads." "Seeking key person to help grow our business?" I read again and think, "Dude, I could have placed that ad!"

"Now, you're a minister, aren't you?" she asks.

Busted. I begin frantically trying to shift gears, becoming more and more self concious of how "dressed down" I am today, the gravel in my voice and the "want ads" in my lap.

She asks me the name of our church and where it is and I tell her the vital statistics, also mentioning that we are a "church plant." She doesn't know what that is, of course, because most people don't. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't have even used that term.

"Brain not work. Me not think right. Must shift gears...1 Peter 3:15...Try to smile..."

I finally clear my throat and explain that it's a "start up" and she seems to understand. She then asks me what church that we, for lack of a better term, "spun off from."

"Oh, we're still spinning," I say with an awkward chuckle.

"I'm not selling this very well," I'm thinking. I place the "want ads" on the seat next to me and briefly explain how we are meeting at the Rec Center, serving in the community, building relationships, etc.

She responds with something like, "Well hang in there. These kinds of things really grow over time."

That's when I remember the business-card-sized "invite cards" that I have with me. I had encouraged everyone in our church to have some with them at all times for just such an occasion. Cool! Sermon illustration for later!

I turn to pull one out of my "Un-Wired-er Analog PDA Mind Map" (which doesn't work well as an acrostic, by the way) and turn back with card in hand when I discover that she has returned to the front desk...

The scene from the movie, "Groundhog Day" flashes across my frazzeled brain:

Phil: Did you really want to talk about the weather, or were you just making "chit chat?"
Mrs. McAllister: Just...chit chat.

"Ok, this is bloggable," I think, and reach for my pen and start writing.

Way too many lessons to learn before 9 a.m....

This post scribbled in the "Un-Wired-er Analog PDA Mind Map" and later "digitally" transferred to this blog. Pun unapologetically intended. :-D

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