>photo © 2008 mpclemens | more info (via: Wylio)
We’ve been building this church of ours for…what…6 years now…SIX YEARS. It’s been delay after delay. It’s been building with volunteers. It’s been building as we have money (or if we don’t have access to money, if we have access to borrowed money). It has been consuming. And I’ve been up front with the congregation that it’s taken a toll on me. And I know it’s taken a toll on them. It’s been a long process. There’s no doubt about it. It has been spiritually, and physically, and emotionally, and financially draining. There will be great rejoicing when we’re able to use the space…and that time is getting closer. Maybe…just maybe…we can be in it for Christmas Eve. We’re praying for it. And we’re working towards it.
We have had a lot of people who have put a lot of their time and energy into this place. In fact, we have two electricians up from Indiana who are donating their time and energy to us for about a week. They’ve done a lot. Our financial person has done a lot. We have a Building Committee Chairperson who has done a lot. I’m not alone here and what I’m going to say here could be said by any of them.
One of the problems with this construction process is how much time it takes away from the things I really want to be doing…or the things that, in the moment, actually sound more important than getting this church finished. Today was one of those days. I knew I was going to have to go into Anchorage to pick up electrical supplies and light fixtures and wire, etc. And, it made much more sense to have me go in and not have the electricians lose a day on the job just going around and getting supplies. So, I spent about an hour at the site in the AM and left for Anchorage at 11 AM, with a supplies list and a couple of places to go. Of course, I would have a couple of personal errands to run (including grocery shopping at Costco) because it doesn’t make sense not to take care of those when I’m already 40 miles away from home in the big city of Anchorage.
And everything took longer that expected. I had to make two different trips to the electrical company’s warehouse. I had to wait 35 minutes as someone got e $6 of wire from a back storeroom. I searched at Lowe’s and The Home Depot for lamp chain and back to Lowe’s again. I couldn’t find regular 100 watt incandescent bulbs at Costco and had to make another stop. I pulled into the church with supplies at 6 PM, with just a half hour before teaching a class tonight.
It was a SEVEN hour trip to Anchorage, preceded by and HOUR of work at the church construction site making decisions and getting a list together.
And, so as I sit down at 10 PM to reflect, I realize there’s a whole lot I didn’t get to today. The newsletter I really need to be working on will have to wait another day. My expenses are used to waiting. I have people I really needed to meet with to “check in” and see how they’re doing. And, right now, I don’t feel like doing much “serious” work. It’s been a long day.
I got the supplies, but I can’t help feeling…”and…there went another day.”
Part of the problem with this church construction is that there have been a lot of days like this. And, hopefully, the memory of all the work and all that time I spent in lines or on phones or trying to make decisions that I was woefully unprepared to make or hammering nails or worrying about money…hopefully, that will all seem worthwhile as, each week we get to live into that new space.
But, for now, I shall put off until tomorrow the stuff I was sure I had to get done today. Most of that stuff will wait. The supplies today could not.