Tuesday, October 09, 2007

all those french films about trains

So. Here we are, advancing into October, and autumn is upon us. Season changes in Southern California are a curious thing to behold. For a former denizen of West Texas, where summer means 100+ and winters can dip into the negatives, the transitional time known as "autumn" is not so much a season as it is a geothermal temper-tantrum. The typical autumn forecast for Lubbock is: low of 38, high of 89, 36 mph winds and a 70% chance of flash-flooding and/or dust storms.

On the coast, the leaves change color and the high dips from 78 to 74. The Californians start wearing coats everywhere and using words like, "freezing" and "icy-death". Of course, this particular subject matter has been well paved by this blog, so we'll leave it at that for now.

And I'm sorry to have deprived you of my magniloquence for the last fortnight or so, but I've been trying to get this youth ministry thing underway. And yes, I do still have that other job, and my parents remind me of this unfailingly. I do not begrudge them this, as I feel they have more than appropriate standing to do so, given the extent to which they subsidized the endeavor.

During this time, I have often thought to myself, "Self, perhaps there is a reason why many institutions of higher learning offer actual degrees in youth ministry." The reason probably being that it's, well, hard.

So I ruminated on that for a few days, and on one occasion whence I brought the thought back up from the third stomach of my subconsciousness, it occurred to me that if a youth ministry degree is as helpful in doing actual youth minsitry as a law degree is to practicing law, then I can consider to no great loss to have skipped it altogether. I would have to assume that there are professions out there for which a college degree tailored to such profession is to some extent helpful. But that profession is certainly not law, and I suspect that neither is it youth ministry.

Frinstance - how does one go about obtaining authenticated and admissible evidence that a certain important document was not filed with the California Franchise Tax Board? Not surprisingly, this process was not covered in my Texas Trial & Appellate course (I am struggling to resist incorporating that old "Texas T&A" joke).

And similarly, what do I do when half of my youth group descends into doctrinal heresy by claiming that Robin Hood could take Batman in a fight? Yes, Robin Hood - the skinny little guy with a bow and arrow. Half of my kids think that he could take Batman. As in, the very same Batman that almost killed Superman. Twice. He's ostensibly going to get taken out by Robin Hood. I can't even type it with a straight face!

As a point of interest, this seems to fall exclusively along gender lines. The girls are in love with the Robin Hood from that new BBC television series, and they think that he could take Batman because he is, ahem, "soooo cute". Ok. Stop. Unless you are a Care Bear, cuteness is not a super-power and cannot be weaponized. But Robin Hood is so smart and clever, they say. Batman synthesized his own kryptonite. I think he gets credit for being a few notches above clever. But these dames are resolute and unwavering. Join me in praying for their eternal souls.

And, as if that weren't sufficiently discouraging, during one youth event held here at the pastors house (where I live, as point of review), we managed to break the indoor plumbing and the pastor's daughter. Randi like, broke her hand, or something. She was screaming and I was trying to play Guitar Hero and I told her that maybe Robin Hood could fix it with the healing power of his cuteness and could you please stop screaming because I'm trying to finish "Heart-Shaped Box" on Expert.

We're supposed to visit an orphanage in Mexico next month, and at this point, I'm wondering how many of them I can get away with leaving there. But for now, I leave you with this:


See what I go through, people?