Monday, July 19, 2010

Turf Wars

Fingers snap in perfect rhythm.

Two sides face off wearing rolled up sleeves and slicked down hair.

West Side Story's got nothin' on the turf wars going on at this seminary campus.

I know lots of people put pastors on pedestals. Usually, the head shepherd would be voted "Most Likely to say Amen Instead of a Cuss Word When Being Cut Off on the Interstate." Well before these "perfect" men become pastors, they often times have to go to seminary first; at least if you are still part of a traditional church. Some of you attend a more "modern" church, oftentimes dubbed an "emergent" church and you may have a "lay pastor" (turned metrosexual). You lucky A29ers usually get someone who function just like a real person, but studies theology classes as he goes.

Well I live in the world of the traditional pastor. Everyday I'm surrounded by families who will one day be your head pastor, youth pastor, music leader, or resident theologian. They'll be in charge of teaching you the Bible, modeling Christ's love to you (even when you call in every week to nag about the volume of last Sunday's praise worship) and general head pastor stuff. I have a secret to tell you: they aren't perfect! Which brings me to my Turf Wars story . . .

Some friends of ours shared a story about one particular neighbor. This certain person was very possessive about his parking spot. So much so that in one instance, this (future pastor or theologian) left a scathing note on a visiting friends car that pretty much said, "This space is MINE! Now give it back or I'll tell on you to the Dean of Students!" And don't think this only happened once. Sometimes the Parking Spot Nazi came to our friends' door and asked them to move their car . . .to one of the many, many open spaces in the lot.

Last week, we noticed that someone from another building was parking in "our" area. Not our parking spots, but our area. We thought it was weird considering he lived right across the street and there were open spots much closer to his apartment. But oh well. We thought, maybe he's a classic Southern Baptist and needs a little exercise.

Then a fellow neighbor talked with us about how much it bothered him and how he really wished that person would stick to his side of the parking lot. (Can you see the gangs getting ready to gather for a good ole fashioned fist fight?) Like I said, it wasn't bothering us so we didn't really encourage this person to do anything about it. Well lo and behold . . . the next morning, the said car had a "friendly" (not sure what it said) note tucked under the windshield wiper. By early afternoon, the car was moved and has since stopped parking in "our" area.

Mission accomplished. One future church leader avoided conflict by taking the heathens way out and writing a nasty note. Awww . . . I'm going to love living in this weird world the next few years. Best get out the "Lord give my grace, humility and eyes to love these people like you do" prayers.


Jenny said...

your descriptions are so exact. i love it! I think we're almost metrosexual....i hope tom is the "unschooled" pastor someday, but we're hoping to do a distance program...maybe. But now I'm a little more jealous of the seminary years...i would love to be a little mouse and watch the turf wars play out with you. :)

Mike Easton said...

Oh man...bless you guys...hard to imagine living in that world. Exciting to know you'll come out of your time more real and unscathed. Praying for you to be a light in a different, authentic kind of way.

Tufo said...

It's a hilariously awkward world. We happen to be the ones who's guests got the nasty note on their car! (Also one of the lucky few who have access to this blog, I imagine.)

We are so ready to move off campus (after THREE YEARS!); it's great to have Jessie and Julie (read: other normal folks) around. Seminary is chock-full of weirdos. Sadly!

kpjordan said...

Julie, I thought it funny that in your last paragraph you say: "Mission accomplished". After all, arent' they there to accomplish missions? Just wondering.
I hope that you and Jesse continue to be a breath of fresh air in the smog. We (meaning me) can all stink from time to time and need someone to spray a little air freshener on us to remind us of our stench, and that we are to indeed, be a fragrance to our God.