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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Be It Unresolved

by Tom Pappas

I admit I have a hard time sticking to what I tell myself I will do. “No more nacho chips,” is a big fat lie. “This is the last game of Words with Friends,” turns into five. “I will keep the table next to the recliner clutter free,” lasts about two days.

So my most recent resolution came about when I found myself in a position I often used to relish. It was my turn to present the “input” at a relationships class that my church is hosting for Drug Court enrollees. For two hours on 7 Wednesdays, we meet to teach and share with couples, which has one of their partners ensconced in the legal system because of drug use.

It has been a great experience to be a member with Laurel, except when I stepped to the front to do a bit of teaching. What I used to like to do was terribly uncomfortable and I decided then and there, that I would step back from future opportunities at the podium. Just say no!

Pause here for an organic understanding of gifts and call. I have for a long time believed that God gives each of us interests and talents and a vision for serving the world. In the course of a lifetime, the gifts become refined and the energy to minister focuses and refocuses so what seemed clear and solid at an early age and opportunity, can be expressed differently in later years.

I told myself that my turn on the stage was passed and my new place in the wings of service will be just right from now on.

Enter indecision in the form of my friend Mark. He explained that the weekly men’s fellowship had reorganized and the new format is for various laypeople to take a month and design the program. He asked if I would take a month.

Not that I think I would be comfortable doing it, but because it would be an opportunity to provide an experience that I think is vital for the church, I’m toying with a yes answer.

Politics is tearing our country apart at the seams. (At least it seems so to me.) Our churches, “separated” from the state, are in the thick of it and people of faith don’t calmly talk about or listen to diverse political opinions in a civil setting.

My idea is to devise an experience were R’s and D’s can tell about their political ideas with the ground rule that everything must be said filtered through the Bible or the lens of what we know of how Jesus conducted his life.

Rats! I’m talking myself into a yes, against my resolution. But as I look at it, I know the really young me wouldn’t have tried this but maybe God has kept the coals of those spiritual assets aglow for just this moment.

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