Sally writes: This has been a difficult week for me, the death of a little six year old has overshadowed our advent preparations, and made many of us here in Downham Market look differently at Christmas. With that in mind I ask whether you are the kind of person that likes everything prepared well in advance, are you a last minute crammer, or a bit of a mixture.....
Here then is this weeks Friday 5:
1. You have a busy week, pushing out all time for preparing worship/ Sunday School lessons/ being ready for an important meeting ( or whatever equivalent your profession demands)- how do you cope?
Scrabulous! no (OK, sometimes). I tend to outline what needs to be done -- then fill in as time permits. That way I can jot notes into appropriate sections as time permits and I can wing what I have to if I run out of time at the end. The things that have to be done (bulletin or agenda or handouts) I do before deadline, but only after I have enough data from the other prep.
2. You have unexpected visitors, and need to provide them with a meal- what do you do?
Pile them into the car. There may or may not be something in my frig/freezer but I doubt they want Mrs Leepers (Gluten free hamburger helper) which is my basic fall-back dinner. (Hey, at least I add frozen green beans to soak up some of the salt.)
Three discussion topics:
3. Thinking along the lines of this week's advent theme; repentance is an important but often neglected aspect of advent preparations.....
no. I want a sterile manger and Mary with perfect hair and baby that doesn't cry or need changing and... OK. Reality. My metaphorical house needs cleaning before the advent guests show up. But that's an unpleasant though with all the holly and candy canes and presents.
I think repentence and preparation are crucial, but so frequently overlooked because we ditch Advent for Christmas too quickly. Some of us even change the purple to blue so it's even less like Lent when it ought to be more like it. In many ways I can even see the whole clean up and prepare for the incarnation more than the preparation for Holy Week.
4. Some of the best experiences in life occur when you simply go with the flow.....
I am with you here. I have often heard the quote "to make God laugh, tell Him your plans" There was a wonderful seen in Evan Almighty where Evan is laying out his life plans to change the world and Morgan Freeman (God) just starts laughing. I could never have dreamed where He would take me. so, quit kicking and enjoy!
5. Details are everything, attention to the small things enables a plan to roll forward smoothly...
This is NOT generally my strong suit. I tend toward the big picture, ask certain people to handle their parts and expect it to happen. I do no micro manage and I resent people who make me do it. I know, I need to get over it. But I'd rather something not be perfect than to do everyone else's job. (That said, I do have mitigation plans for the critical elements).
Bonus if you dare- how well prepared are you for Christmas this year?
Christmas? Well... I've had a few other things on my mind, but the tests have just come back negative. So now I can think about maybe putting up the tree. But sometimes all I can think about is all the work of taking it back down again. Does that make me a Scrooge? I haven't even pulled out the advent wreath this year. And I had the nerve to preach on being ready last week!