Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Time's Up -- Done Listening?
Way back when my husband was the pastor of a teeny-tiny church in a teeny-tiny town, grocery stores introduced the first lightweight plastic bags. Several of the ladies in the teeny-tiny congregation used the bags to carry their Bibles to church. At noon, whether the sermon was done or not, out came the bags [scrunch, scrunch] and in went the Bibles [scrunch, scrunch, scrunch, scrunch]. He quickly learned to heed the hints of the scrunchy bags and give the closing prayer.
Some of those scrunchy-bag ladies were very sweet, but the noise meant they were done with listening. Time for dinner, time to chat, time to be done with church, no offense intended.
I wished I'd had a scrunchy bag last week. Sitting in classes all day, listening and processing things I wished I didn't have to listen to or process. It got old. It made me exhausted. I was ready to be done listening before the closing prayer (if there had been one) was said.
All things considered, however, it was good that I sat there, good that I endured, good that I didn't use the scrunchy-bag technique. I learned things I needed to learn, I applied things I needed to apply, and I pondered things that needed pondering. It was good that all of us sat quietly, took it all in, and thought about what to do with the new information.
My library has introduced a new kind of bag for patrons. It's a new material, made of plants or vegetable oils or something, and it's soft and very quiet. No more scrunchiness! Bless their hearts, what would those ladies do now? They'd pull out their bags, shuffle their Bibles and bulletins into them, and the preacher would never hear a bit of it! Maybe they'd get to listen to that final tag at the end of the sermon, the one that wraps up the whole message, the one that you're supposed to take home and ponder.
Besides that, if the bag is biodegradable and non-toxic, you could probably take a bite and chew on it so you don't die of hunger before you get home to dinner.