All you have to do is follow the instruction book…

(From the “Thinking Outloud” column in our Parish Newsletter for August 2014)

Sometimes beginning a writing with a controversial statement catches the reader’s attention.  And what could be more controversial than making a sexist statement?  So, here goes…

“Only a man would really understand.”

Okay, let’s journey on together now that the guys want to know what I am talking about and the ladies are ready to… well, let’s just say I’m in trouble and I have about 500 words to redeem myself!

So, you get a box with an item in it; let’s say like a new outdoor grill.  (My Father’s Day gift that required assembly)  You open the box and among the parts to the item is a clear bag with about a million screws, bolts, washers, nuts and a single allen wrench as part of the mix.  Oh yeah, and a 32 page instruction book!


Putting aside the large group of guys that think they don’t need the instructions, you open the book and see these drawings with parts and lines and dots and holes and small writing that requires a jeweler’s loupe to read.  And somehow in all of this, you are supposed to assemble said product and do it so that it is safe for children and small pets to walk by it.  (By the way men, if you are one of those that don’t need the instructions, stick with that.  You are an endless source of amusement to the ladies in your life!)

So, for the sake of this discussion, let’s pretend that you were able to follow the instructions, you finished all 73 steps successfully and now you have a living, breathing, working grill ready to char steaks and ribs.  Well done my friend!  Somehow, someway, you have followed the steps and achieved greatness.

Well friends, we too have achieved this greatness.  We have followed the instructions.  And, metaphorically speaking, we have a brand new grill ready to give us wonderful meals.

What I am referring to is the 17 month journey we have completed.  I am sure that in March of 2013, many or even most of us wondered if we could do it and what was going to happen when we learned of the departure of our rector.  There were so many elements to the process; no, the journey we were about to make together.  There were tons of unanswered questions.

But friends, we did it!  We are at the end of one journey and about to begin another.  Together, we followed the instructions given by God and his messengers and in a few weeks we welcome Mother Maria Kane to our family.  And, we are so excited to have her here!

So now, every time you grill at your house or go to a barbeque, you can be reminded of our success.  You see, in our metaphor, we are the bag of parts.  It is all of us, working in concord that holds together the grill.  And what comes from it feeds us.  Amen

(And ladies, it will be our secret, but you’re much better at following the instruction book and doing the assembly!)

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