i do, however, want to acknowledge walter moore’s comment that, “Some pastors are co-dependent. Some are not. Some are on power kicks; some are not. Some are great servants; some are not.” i absolutely agree with mr. moore, and hereby reiterate my intention to avoid sweeping generalizations. still, many of my peers complain to me about finding themselves in disagreeable situations that they should have seen coming, and avoided at all costs.
again, i’m not speaking for my colleagues, but i can tell you that i get myself into those situations way more often than i should because of my need to be needed. i can’t tell you how many times i have said to myself, “i will never do this again” only to find myself agreeing to do the very same thing again. the next day. nodding my head with a dumb smile on my face.
today i will share with you a case in point (and remind you of your commitment to keep my secrets).
i played santa.
i mean the whole gig–the furry red suit, the sweaty hat, the fake boots (i didn’t wear a fake beard…i’ve got to draw the line someplace, right?). the girls that run our child-care center came up with the idea of “pictures with santa” as a fundraiser, and they made a very compelling argument. “the kids know you, so they will be more likely to sit still,” they argued. “plus, you have the white hair and white beard” (my hair happens to be blond, thank you…a very light shade of blond). they closed the deal, though, when they said, “and how cute will your granddaughter be sitting in santa’s lap?” am i supposed to subject my only grandchild to some santa hack? some pseudo santa? some less-than santa?
as soon as i sat down and the snot parade began, though, the questions surfaced: “what was i thinking?” and “how long will this last?” and “if walter moore could see me now, would he think that i am god’s man on the scene?”
to be honest, the overall experience wasn’t that bad. i enjoy hanging with the kids and we earned a little money to fund christmas bonuses for our workers. but i was left with one haunting question: how big does a kid have to be before he is too big to sit in santa’s lap? we started with the little kids and they were simple. as we got to the preschoolers and the school-age kids, though, my job got a little rough (maybe that’s why santa always has “little helpers”). i mean, some of the boys were just too big to lift. i had to kinda’ drag them up my leg and onto my lap. to make matters worse, some families wanted pictures of siblings together. at one point, i had four kids on my lap–one screaming, one glaring, and two completely ambivalent.
i’m telling you, i serve because i’m a pastor.