Thursday, October 18, 2012

How to not do crazy? Please Heloise, help!

"Cause...who doesn't, after all, want to go 'UP'"?
Over four decades of continuous service to the Church as a musician, mostly in a directorial or managerial situation, I don't suppose I'm at all alone in declaring that such as us encounter people of 360 degrees of uniqueness, even on a daily basis. The Church's existential Body (that would be all souls) has always been attended by some sort of institutional and physical apparatus, apparati (?) such as "magisterium, heirarchy, basilicas, houses of worship etc) in which we conduct the various enterprises of prayer, praise, alms collecting/distribution, sacramental activities and rituals, catechesis, et al. But the existential Body clearly has been identified as our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, Himself! Tada, easy! But the corporeal body, eh, not so much clarity there.
Happily we, the Church, have arrived at a moment in history where we're (the BIG We) not ideologically at war with other faiths over literal geographical territory, as in the Crusades or the Irish troubles. We do face some monumental global issues as regards the commission given to us by Christ, but that has been the case from day one of His public ministry, if not from day one of the universe. It's enough to drive a believer crazy if you try to unwind the rubberband ball of problems strangling the societies of peoples all over the world.
Back to dealing with people every day. As a person who is irreparably a Type A, temperamental artiste, pain in the keister windbag, I've somehow still managed to earn a modicum of respect for various talents and insights into the various communal aspects of my family, professional and recreational lives. Most of my life I blustered and bloviated (thanks for that one, O'Reilly) my way through various crises and turmoils, wailed and sobbed unrelentingly through others, laughed or joked as if to dodge the bowling ball heading towards me, etc. And those are over the small stuff.
When Big Stuff drops from the sky like an existential asteroid, somehow a "Down Ego, down" yield warning keeps me quiet and calm, so that I can focus, get perspective, and react positively and soundly. I wish that was the way I could approach the small, petty and political stuff that, as I've gotten older, seems to be more prevalent. I find myself becoming Ed Asner/Lou Grant/the old grump in "UP" more often than not, and I don't recognize my inner heart that's always yearned for kindness and goodness.
What do old fogey megalomaniacs always charge others with: "Why are those people messing with me?" "Why can't these people be more like me and follow the darn rules?" And so forth. But the problem, which is probably lifelong in its stranglehold, is beginning with the word "Why." Well, dummy, "Because." Or more accurately "Because they will, they can and they do!"
I've only got one systematic response mechanism when "stuff like this" gets semi-serious, and that's to keep a draft file of letters I'd relish to send to someone who's peed on my petunias. And other friends have suggested that I learn how to just "not do crazy." And my natural response is, b-b-b-but these people won't get things done right, so they just call me!

Help me friends. How does one not do crazy in the modern church business?

1 comment:

Ron Rolling said...

I remind you of your first priority: to assist the People of God in their public prayer life, being truly pastoral in your dealings inside and outside the Church. As first and foremost an orator (pray-er), see to it what you do is for the glory of God and the edification of the faithful. You have chosen to bring truth, goodness, and beauty to life through your vocation; let what you do speak of those things.