Thoughts of a Paper Shredding Pastor

Thoughts of a Paper Shredding Pastor

Office-Space-PrinterEvery now and then I look for some paperwork or other and realize how cluttered my files are. I then get the urge to purge, purge, purge and this leaves me cutting endless mounds of paper while I watch television. Now that I am starting to grow up and have what many people would consider a real job I have access to grown up luxuries, like a paper shredder at work. This is supposed to save me lots of time, and help my fingers avoid blisters from scissors.

You might be expecting me to write all about how the paper shredder didn’t work, was more trouble than it was worth, and how I took it out back a-la-Office-Space. That’s not what this post is about, in fact the machine worked really well, surprisingly well, and despite the huge blades threatening to suck my hand in and slice and dice it beyond recognition if I were to allow my mind to go off and explore whatever idea pops into it, I got to thinking.

I was thinking about what a shame it is that we live in a world where such precautions are necessary. A world where one needs to cut up one’s old bills and financial statements (no matter how little money is involved) for fear that one’s identity might be stolen or some private information will be used in a nefarious manner (can you tell I don’t exactly know why I am supposed to shred all this stuff instead of just recycle it?)

Our church is going through a security audit right now, figuring out how to conform to the laws of the land regarding places where people work alone, and also making sure we are doing our “due diligence” regarding the safety of those who work, play, and praise in our buildings. I am ambivalent about much of this, on the one hand I know we need to be safe, on the other hand the church ought to be open, welcoming, and trusting in the benevolence of God.

The violence in France over the past week is a sobering reminder that the world is not as safe as it ought to be and we would be foolish to say that we can simply trust in God that all will work out. It’s like the guy whose house was about to be flooded and when the fire department came and told him to leave and offered him a place to go said “No thanks, My God will save me.” Later when he was sitting on the roof of his house a boat came by and offered him a lift. “No thanks,” he said, “my God will save me.” Later a helicopter came by and offered a lift “No thanks, My God will save me.” In the end he dies up on that roof. When he gets to heaven he asks God why he didn’t save even though he had such faith. “Well,” said God, “I sent you the fire department, a boat, and a helicopter, how much more do you want from me?”

Anyways, as I sat on the floor in the hallway here and the paper shredder made its happy paper shredder sounds I got to praying about peace, about safety, and about knowing what to do and recognizing God’s will. I prayed for common sense and for justice so that people would have enough and know when to stop accumulating and start sharing. Mostly I prayed the machine wouldn’t jam and I wouldn’t have to face an angry administrative staff later in the day. Blessings to you all.

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