Sunday, March 26, 2006

Not always wound this tight

Today my partner in ministry and I both gave sermons on the movie "School of Rock." No, I'm not kidding. We raffled a sermon topic and the youth group won. We were counting our blessings that we didn't have to do the TV show "Family Guy" or Kanye West. He delivered a message on cooperation, and I worked in something on risk. Considering all we both wanted to talk about what a putz Jack Black's character was, we considered the morning a success.

One of the lines from "School of Rock" that stuck with me was delivered by Joan Cusack who played the principal: "I wasn't always wound this tight!" she sputters when defending her lack of cool cred. I am with you, sister.

For me the spindle started a-spinnin' when I ministered my first church at 27. There are people who could ease right into that. I am not one of those people. I wound even tighter as a hospice chaplain. Death is not soothing on a daily basis. When I became a parent, look out. And now that I am a parent of two, a minister, a member of a state regulatory board... sometimes I don't even want to be in the same room with myself for fear that at any minute I'm going to rupture something.

I shared a bit of this "wound too tight" sensation in the sermon. I was amazed at the people who confided afterward that they were wound too tight for their own good, as well. They were mostly the cool cucumber crowd in my book.

This, of course, leads me to some troubling questions: 1. If those who appear calm are feeling wound up, is anyone calm?
2. If people I admire for their calm are all also wound up, does that mean my goals are at odds with my natural affinities?
and most troubling of all... 3. Should a person who spends a week pondering the personal implications of a movie like "School of Rock" be allowed in a pulpit, on a blog, or in any public sphere other than a poorly attended karaoke night?

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