Monday, February 13, 2006

yuppies and elders

Friday night my wife and I were walking around a home-furnishing store. We had just gone out to eat with some friends and didn't want to go home yet, so we thought we would window shop a little. While at the store, we found a small oriental rug on sale for $30 dollars.

At this point, I should tell you that at church we have a large oriental rug on stage that I stand on while I lead worship. The purpose of this rug is mostly aesthetic. It hides some guitar cables and generally makes the stage look a little nicer. But this rug has caused some problems. See, our Senior minister walks around a lot when he preaches, and I don't know whether it is the way he walks or what, but that darn rug bunches up on him every Sunday. He has come close to falling face first off the stage on a couple different occasions. Now...yes, that would be funny, but it would probably be a little distracting, too. And that's not good. So we picked this rug up. It was big enough for me to stand on while leading worship and small enough for my Senior Minister to walk infront of while he preached.

Well, in the check-out line, we were stuck behind a stiff, well-dressed, upper-class young woman who was constantly using the phrase "have to" out of context. "I have to have that wall-hanging for my bathroom." "Oh, I have to have a manicure tomorrow." She just kept saying it. "I have to have this. I have to have that..." I don't think that woman understands the definition of the term "have to". You have to have that wall hanging for your bathroom? Really? Do your facilities not function in the bathroom without it? Or you not function in the bathrooom without it? Yeah, I can see where that would be an issue. But my guess is neither is true. My guess is that you are so far removed from reality, and so indoctrinated into the Western consumer culture that you have never really known "have to" in your comfortable, exorbitant life. That is my guess.

People who act like that drive me crazy. I honestly hate it. Mostly...because I am prone to it. I am. I really have never known "have to" in my life either. Now, I have never been anywhere near wealthy...but I was born and raised in America. Thus, my lifestyle has always been lavishly comfortable compared to most people in the world. So I guess people like that bother me because they highlight what is really a deficiency in me.

On more lighthearted weekend-related note: Sunday morning it looked like a postcard here in the hills of East Tennessee. Over night a snowfall had blanketed the ground. Every branch of every tree held an inch or so of fresh powder. It was absolutely gorgeous. It has felt like Spring since Fall this year, so I was extremely happy for a least a little taste of winter.

A few minutes before our church service started I walked up to a window in the sanctuary and gazed at the snow covered hill across the parking lot. I said to one of the elders (who was sitting on the edge of the stage drinking coffee), "I just want to sled down that hill right now." Staring into his cup of coffee and not missing a beat, he responded, "We used to use car hoods." I just broke out laughing, "What?! You seriously used car hoods as sleds?"

Now understand, this is not your typical church elder. Think Lynyrd Skynyrd meets Benny Hinn. He is an outgoing, passionate Holy Ghost-er who wants nothing more out of life than to rip-off some killer Southern Rock licks any chance he gets. He is one of my favorite people in the world and it is not suprising at all that when he was in highschool he and his buddies used to steal the hoods off of cars when it snowed and see how many of them could make it to the bottom of the hill. It doesn't suprise me one bit. And I don't know if that was a 60's thing, a redneck thing or a just guy thing...but I'm a little envious.

And this is exactly why I love the people of my church. These people are real. Goofy, flawed and real. Unpretentious people who don't hide the fact they are far from perfect. They are blue-collar and very East Tennessee. They are not rich, and they don't pretend to be. But they do know the difference between "have to" and "want to". And I like that.


Betsy said...

I like that too...and that girl was so annoying that i left your side to go look around the front of the store! ps.i love you, thank you for the beautiful roses.

bill said...

p.s. you are welcome

jake said...

Um, could you not use the comment section as your love correspondance. I think I HAVE TO puke.

bill said... was valentines day. i apologize.