The vicar who tried to train me had an amazing habit of listening to a crack or joke made at his expense and then coming back the next day with, 'I have been reflecting on what you said and it seems to me...' I soon realised that nothing, however off hand, off the cuff or off the wall, that I said was ever going to be treated lightly. 'This is a serious business this ministry and deserves our full and serious attention' was never said but I heard it. Now he did have a sense of humour and once took off his cassock at an advent family service to reveal his pyjamas, following it by preaching on 'being ready.'
Are there,' I asked in the staff meeting today, '...any cans here which, regardless of the label, do not actually contain worms?'
'That's ministry,' was the reply and I sort of grinned and laughed it off. Then I reflected upon it. Curse you Ian you taught me that too.
Is the skill, the knack, the trick of achieving things in minstry being able to open the right cans, as it were? Are there things I can do here which don't involve worms? Perhaps mainly new things. Anything old is potentially worm-infested. I know there is a story behind everything but I am finding the back story more tedious than the work that is to come.
This metaphor is struggling under the load I am requiring it to hold right now so end of, but it has got me thinking.