Summer days used to mean things slowed down at work, but that is not the case this year, at least not at Trinity. On top of several projects underway, we have nearly 100 Wellspring summer camp kiddos onsite every day. It’s fun to hear their voices and giggles. Somehow, hearing children’s laughter inside a big old church building makes my heart happy. It makes the building feel, literally, alive
Some of us recently toured the GE Campus and listened to the description of the amazing plans and hopes the community has for this abandoned industrial complex. Walking through the urban ruins gave us a chance to see the decrepit buildings in a way most of us never had a chance to observe. The company bowling alley still had shoes and scorecards, left behind whenever that final frame was bowled. It was a bit spooky, to see some of the signs of lives long gone.
It might be easy—too easy--- to envision our gorgeous building as it might look, abandoned and left to decay. Would future tour-takers know about the energy and activity that takes place here, every day? Would there be any remnant of those Wellspring children’s laughter? Or the commitment and dedication our staff pours into our work, day after day? Would someone peer into the shadows and envision the people who put together children’s worship bags and stuffed sermon letters into envelopes and printed weekly bulletins? What might echo in empty hallways? On this day, you can hear colleagues calling out to offer assistance or encouragement to each other. You can hear music from offices and conversations as small groups plan out opportunities for summer fun for the congregation. You can hear the soft whir of fans trying to stir the warm air that settles in some of the workspaces. The air handling is kind of funky because when our building was erected, no one envisioned the staff or the technology or the needs of today. We make it work . We modify. We make do. It’s all a process.
Whatever this building--- or any building--- holds, the most important thing it shelters is the humanity for a time under its roof. The souls who pour their limited time and precious energy into creating connections and opportunities, attending services and hosting events for members and neighbors are the real ‘lifeblood’ of Trinity. We’re all bound to one another through this experience as the body of Christ. It takes all of us. And since I’ve been listening to Hamilton, a phrase that comes to mind is, “oceans rise; empires fall…” and I see the inevitable cycle of creation and decay from a different viewpoint. I am just grateful to be a part of the creating. I am grateful I get to hear the laughter and the encouragement and the friendly voices that fill this space today.
How are you?
“Busy!” was probably your answer. (bonus points if you answered aloud) And it’s rarely said with gratitude, right?
Well, you’ve heard it before but I am saying it again: it isn’t the healthiest answer one could give.
Yes, we’re ALL busy. Life seems to be like that, right? Appointments and obligations and exercise classes and oil changes and haircuts… the list of “have to do” on our calendars gets longer all the time. And now it’s summer and we don’t want to waste a moment of the sunshine and warm weather and semi-vacation feel each day brings.
But what if we decided it wasn’t possible to “waste” a day? That whatever you did in the 24-hours we all have is exactly what you were supposed to be doing? Nothing wasted. You might look at a schedule full of housecleaning and chores and running children to dentist’s appointments as a day when ‘nothing got done,’ but what if you reframed it? What if you looked at that same day as a day when you were given the gift of showing up for your children’s well-being and an opportunity to create more peace and comfort inside your home? A time when you were allowed to gather the items your family needs to be well-fed and healthy for the coming week? All of the chores and errands are a type of service, aren’t they? Doing for others? If you managed to make one person’s life easier (spoiler alert: you did) and if you accomplished any tasks that benefited others’ lives (again: you did), then that day was not wasted. It was almost an offering to God, a thanksgiving for the people in your life. Does that change how you saw your day?
I am trying to re-frame this for myself, at home and at work. Sometimes we clean up messes we didn’t make, and sometimes someone else is cleaning up ours. Sometimes we’re invited to show a little patience and other times, we benefit from the grace of others. It’s all part of the dance, right? This dance of life?
I have a dear friend who talks about how to “orange” a situation. If you didn’t know what an orange was, how would you describe it? What would you do with it? Maybe it’s a toy, to toss to a child or a therapy ball to roll out the kinks in your sore feet. Whatever; you get the idea. A thing is not necessarily what we “know” it is. Nor is a situation. Nor is a person. I am trying, this week, to see people, places and things as they could be, not as I already “know” they are. I’m out to “orange” this week. Check back to see if I managed to accomplish anything.