Sunday 8 October 2006

Z just wants the problem sorted, not talked about

I'm off to church in a few minutes. I've spent two hours there already this morning. Another 2 hours or so to go. And then I'm jolly well going to the pub.

I arrived home to find, in an email, the saga of the coffee is still going on. A couple of weeks ago, the person (a lovely girl, she'd had a bad week) making coffee was upset because, there being lots of visitors and families to the Harvest service, she was asked to make coffee after the service as well as before. When I tried to comfort her and help, she shook me off angrily.

I've come up with a solution and a back-up solution in case anyone objects to the first idea. But everyone wants to have their say. Don't we all have more important things in our lives? I am so tempted to just say I'll make the sodding coffee myself, but I mustn't; for one thing it's easier to take on that job than give it up, and for another I will be saying I'm *better* than the ones who are complaining, and I neither think that nor want anyone to feel dismissed as unappreciated.

But it's hard for me to understand the problem. On that occasion, I'd worked, on the Saturday, for 16 hours to decorate the church, cook the Harvest supper, serve it and wash up afterwards. I'd spent another 4 in the church on Sunday, clearing up, getting ready for the service, playing the clarinet, preaching the sermon and being friendly afterwards. It wasn't a problem. I'm normally busy for 2 -3 hours on a Sunday on church matters. And I don't consider myself a churchy person at all. I'm not even very religious. I described myself to a friend recently as, not so much a pillar of the church as a flying buttress - though I did acknowledge that this is not my bon mot, I stole it from, I think, Winston Churchill.

I am not, though it looks as if I am, boasting about the time it takes me. Just that (except here and now) I don't go on about it. And I keep smiling, even if afterwards I go home and moan to my ever-loving Sage (who is just grateful not to be in the wrong himself, so listens kindly which enables me to get over it and regain my good humour). So if you offer to do a job, do it willingly and wholeheartedly, offer to do a bit more than you're asked to do, smile - and it will be a pleasure. If you do it begrudgingly and barely adequately - it will be a chore.

But I can't say that, as it will sound far too critical and, furthermore, I'll lose my miffed volunteers for the coffee rota.

Oh well. If you have been, thanks for listening.

Update, post pub, 2.15 pm Lovely bloke on the rota today quietly, without comment, made coffee cheerfully both before and after the service. I understood what he was saying, and it didn't need words.


stitchwort said...

Isn't Christianity about loving your neighbour, treating others as you would like to be treated yourself, and charity (i.e. helping others)?

Z said...

Well exactly. And I'm sorry that I've moaned and been ungracious. And I know very well that, if you've had a bad week and have a stressful weekend, it can be hard to keep a smile on your face all the time. But, after all, that is the point of it all. Not for any one to do better than anyone else, but to do the best that you, yourself, possibly can.

We fall short on this all the time. I certainly do. And I should put myself right before I criticise anyone else.

Bugger. Oh well, I never expected to find myself in Heaven. Burning lake for me. I wonder if we'll be allowed marshmallows...........