Sunday, April 19, 2015

Late Night Musings

Sometimes I can't sleep. I shift.
Sometimes I can't sleep. I turn the pillow over. Sigh.
Sometimes I can't sleep, and I cry for a bit until I'm sick of crying so I get up and eat a handful of jellybeans. I write. I eat some jellybeans. I pause.

One of the jellybeans looks rather demented, like it's had its appendix out. This little guy's had a rough go of things. What happened in the factory that this jellybean turned out so mangled and scarred? And a pink one too, my favorite. I eat said jellybean. It is extra sweet, perhaps due to its battered journey? I meditate on this sweet little candy.And I think to myself, I am that jellybean.

This, my friends, is why I should not be a pastor. I have a fierce, almost annoying call to ministry but let me tell you, all my sermons would end up like this. It's the 11th hour. Saturday night. Gotta preach tomorrow morning. (again? already?) Topic. Hmm. Topictopictopic. Could look to the Bible for inspiration but I feel like it's all been done before. Plus my Bible is probably not the right translation. And it's all the way over there. Hm.You know what always helps me think? Food. Easter was a couple weeks ago so all my inspiration comes in candy-coated pastels and rabbit shapes-- 50% off, don'cha know! I twirl a few times in my chair. Maybe it's not too late to get a guest preacher. My throat is a little sore, now that I think about it.

But seriously, all of my sermons would be last-ditch attempts to string together something memorable, faith-based, and food-focused. Hey, everybody eats, right? And they say my material isn't relatable. Next week's sermon: the alphabet according to Skittles. I'll roll out the trusty old acrostic poem for this one: SSSSS! Salvation Seems So Small, Sadducees! BS for ten minutes about that. Throw in a tangentially-related youtube video and end by rapping some DC Talk lyrics. Amen.

Maybe I should make this into a 10-part sermon series on why God could/should use anyone besides me to minister to other people. There'll definitely be one called "This sucks"... because sometimes it is the truest, most sympathetic statement you can say to someone.

My former pastor once did a sermon on "What have I gotten myself into?" That's what the idea of ministry feels like to me. Deep down I hesitate to even tell people about my call because it's like, Oh great, now I'm accountable to all of these people too. Better start praying more before everybody finds out I'm a fraud. What on Earth am I getting myself into! I know God knows me better than I know myself, but seriously. I can see myself standing in the sanctuary, staring at a blank piece of paper, praising God for all the improv lessons I took in middle school. "The thing about society today that really stinks is that we're all so sinful. All of us. All the time. Just sin, sin, sin, sin, sin. If you look up sinner in the dictionary, there's an emoji of all of our faces and the devil smiling. Let's throw up on the screen the interview with the creator of the "sinner" emoji." DC Talk. Amen.

Today I found out that in certain denominations you're not appointed to a church; you're selected based on a "call system," which sounds a lot to me like an audition. Too bad my beatboxing wouldn't impress in that situation. "Hello, I'm Pastor Emma, and I'd like to start with this track, inspired by JT but written by the original JT: James Taylor." And I proceed with the percussive Carolina In My Mind, as the big vaudeville hook drags me offstage, like when Peppermint Patty played the sheep in the Christmas pageant.

This is me wrestling with my call, wishing I were 13 again, and the call referred to a Top 40 hit by the Backstreet Boys, not some gigantic, life-altering mission that I try to put in a box and shove under my bed so it doesn't take over what little control I have in life.

But I know it ultimately will. Surrender Saves Suffering Souls, Silly.

Our Keeper will never slumber, but I ought to try. Night.


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