As you all know, my dad was a pastor. But in one Parish he served in a “tent-making” ministry where he did minimal activity at the church and supported himself financially teaching at the local high school. He had many interesting stories of his students but one of the most interesting was Atley.
Atley was a big boy. The biggest boy in my dad’s class. Strong and tall, and kindhearted to a fault. But if Atley had a real fault, it was that he wasn’t attentive to detail. Not at all. Dad viewed his most important task with him to be teaching him to focus. And so one day, when Atley just couldn’t seem to pay attention, he sent him to the office for the “left-handed book stretcher”. Dad had prearranged this exercise with the school secretary, but evidently failed to mention it to the principal who, on that day, was the one to receive Atley when he arrived in the office in search of a “left-handed book stretcher”.
This Sunday, we welcome our candidate of choice for the associate Pastor position, and in worship, we explore what happens when we fail to focus appropriately: we worry!