One of my volunteer positions when I was with the United Church of Canada was to be the Chair of our Conference's Interview Board. That meant I was part of the interview team that helped to discern who had gifts for ministry in the church. It was often very rewarding work. People shared with us their calls for ministry, their hopes and dreams for the church. Many times it was very inspiring. Other times it was more difficult. Sometimes we could not recognise ministerial gifts in the candidates and we had to say no.
But what always surprised me in doing that important work was the number of forms that needed to be filled out afterwards. Often times the forms were pages long. Often times you had to sign and annotate several copies of the form- forms were sent to the candidate, their presbytery and to the national office. Often times filling out the forms were not straight forward and were very complex.
Doing the interview work, I could see some value in the forms. They made sure that all the "t's" were crossed and the "i's" were dotted. If the forms were filled out correctly, we could easily tell that the candidate had completed all of their requirements. I could also see the frustration that such forms caused. Some people often ended up feeling like round pegs in square holes because they just didn't fit the pre-designed criteria. Some people found it near impossible to fit into the way the forms thought it should be.
I think forms really model life and how we deal with others. Sometimes, it is possible to deal with others with a strict criteria. We might think that it is important that everyone should live by one set of rules, but unfortunately, one size never fits all. Some people due to their education, the language that they speak, their economic background, their culture, their religion, their gender, their orientation, and their upbringing make unbending allegiance to rules impossible. We need to be open to bending our rules, just as society bends their rules for us. Blessings.
Friday March 17- On this day where we celebrate all things Irish, I give thanks that on this day everyone is invited to celebrate, whether they are Irish or not.
Saturday March 18- I give thanks for the spirit of discovery. We went to a new part of the city that I did not know all that well and it was delightful.
Sunday March 19th- I give thanks for the spirit of Surprise. I was tired after church and just wanted to go home, but I went to a celebration for a new friend of mine and had a wonderful time.
Monday March 20th- I give thanks for the ability to dream. We made plans on Monday for our anniversary trip later this year.
Tuesday March 21st- I give thanks for the equinox- that time of year when all parts of the world see equal halves of night and day. It shows that we are all equal, no matter who or where we are.
Wednesday March 22nd- for the second day in a row, I give thanks for thunderstorms. They bring relief from the heat, and reveal the power of nature