… telling more truth than is smart. For me that is. But if you know me, being frank is a gift that keeps on giving. Anyway, I am home after a full day of church stuff. The sun is setting, and some thoughts just won’t go away. So write about them, I think.
Think twice is one of those thoughts. That’s what I should do because it is one thing I should have done. This afternoon our church choir did a powerful performance of the Mozart Requiem in their annual spring concert. I was psyched to go, and psyched by the performance, and in the midst of this great emotional state I allowed some ‘less filtered’ thoughts out of my mouth. Nothing mean or bad, but not well thought or said.
What sticks with me this evening is how we hear that we should trust our emotions but sometimes you can’t. There is never a time when your words do not matter to someone, and you never who they will be. Being a grownup means always thinking first, and maybe second, and that can get tiring.
And don’t forget to be real, authentic, and honest.
Sometimes your inner child needs to keep quiet. Of course when the concert was over there was a great round of highly deserved applause. I started it in fact. They people stood up and cheered, and they deserved that too. But my inner child is a whining little pill sometimes and I found myself thinking, “Hey, I want some applause too.”
I do get some now and then, but not like this. And when I am a grownup this makes sense. Applause is not what I am in it for, but a long ago dug hole that needs approval from parents or teachers or someone else sometimes yawns wide and I want to be admirable and applauded.
Mind you, I got two terrific compliments today. They felt great, but this desire for appreciation is very deep and very old. My grownup mind knows it can never be quenched because that need belongs to my past and not my present. And yet knowing it can never be quenched does not make the desire go away. That means childish envy is ever ready to curdle the mood.
Being good enough really is good enough. In all my years as a clergyman my congregations have praised my preaching. That led me to believe I was a good preacher. And yet I am never invited to preach elsewhere. (See above for how that feels). Does that mean I am deceiving myself?
No. It means, when my grownup is alert, that I am a very good preacher for this church. I And ultimately, that is the point of preaching. I speak to them, not people in general. The more you know the people and the more they know you, the better a preacher you are. For them. And that is good enough.
That may explain why I am unlikely to write a book, or more honestly, write something that will get published. Books are addressed to unknown people, but I know the people I speak to and write to. It is what I sense needs to be shared with someone that propels me, not just a desire to speak or write by itself.
If I think twice instead of feel once, and let my inner child have its tantrum and then pipe down, life is not only good enough, it is very good. But it takes effort, friends. Damn.