I believe in evil. I believe that evil has a face and hands and pulls a lot of strings. I have too much experience of strange circumstances around holy moments to believe anything else. So, though I'm not sure why yet, I am certain that yesterday afternoon was almost lost to the Tempter.
It was an afternoon full of frustration both personally and professionally. It started at about 2pm when I headed to the chapel to setup the video presentation for TKT's Lenten program "The Gospel According to Buzz Lightyear." I turned the projector on, the lights flashed as usual, and then it shut down. I tried it again, and the same thing happened. Uh Oh.
I decide to give it a break and sit down to work on the slideshow when a parishioner comes through the door, visibly upset, saying, "I'm about to ruin your afternoon." Seems the group of Spring Breakers who have come to volunteer with our local outreach organization didn't clean the kitchen very well after breakfast. (I would find out later that several folks had been through the kitchen that morning and early afternoon but decided not to say anything about it).
Dutifully, I head to the kitchen, which, quite honestly, isn't that messy. Some crumbs on the counter, scrambled egg residue on the cooktop, some dishes in the sink and a rag on the floor. 15 teenagers can do a lot more damage than that, and I'm just not sure where to direct my frustration. Part of me just wants to wipe down the counter myself and forget about it, but no, they did leave a mess and should probably clean it up before our parish dinner. So I call, and they agree to send someone back. In the meantime, the fourth group of folk through the kitchen that day do the dishes and pick up the rag, so their return trip was kind of in vain, but still, lesson learned.
The man from tech support tells me the bulb is blown on our projector, but he'd be happy to sell me a new one for $299 plus tax, shipping, and that oh so slippery "handling" term. I decline, but now I'm really getting wound up. TKT agrees to pray for the projector and suggests as fix. I try one of my own first and after the longest 2 minute warm up in history, the projector comes alive. Seems the power cord was not fully plugged in.
Back in my office, finally, I'm working on a sermon for Sunday when an email from the Treasurer of my Property Owners Association pops up. Seems one guy, who has always been disgruntled, decided to certify that feeling by certified mail. He'd like to sue us (I'm on the board for 2 more months), though I'm not sure how or why. Still, not a happy feeling. Lots of anger welling up inside me. The Tempter is doing his best.
In the midst of the valley of the shadow of death, however, the Lord revives my soul. Thank you Psalm 23. And it happens is such mundane ways. Last night, it was in the form of 6 noisy children busily coloring Nemo during the Lenten program. Sure, they can be distracting, but boy do they need to be right there, in the midst of us, coloring and giggling and moving around.
Perfect bliss in a world gone mad. The Lord indeed revives my soul, thanks be to God!