Saturday, September 18, 2010

Too much pride?

I'm mostly of German descent.

Some might consider that a good thing.  Others, not so much.

The Germanic culture is a strange one, but fun to live within.  We have our quirks and idiosyncrasies.  One of them has to do with pride.  In the Germanic culture, pride truly goeth before the fall.  One dare not be proud of oneself--for that is big headedness.  One dare not be proud of others--for they will eventually let you down.  One dare not be proud of an organization or institution that one belongs to--for the bottom will eventually fall out.

Kind of mind boggling that we set ourselves up for failure, you know?  Or, perhaps it is setting our expectations low enough so that we are surprised by success.  Who rightfully knows?

Which brings me to the point of today's blog: I am feeling just a tinge of pride for my congregation at this point.  That may be a good thing, or, since I am German, a bad thing.  I'll let you decide.

Some are familiar with what my congregation is working toward at this moment in time:

Yes, we are working to provide pastors in the Central African Republic with dirt bikes, and we've invited other congregations to join us in this endeavor.  It's cool to see several of them join in and help out.

I've been in correspondence with a lady who is leading a team of seven individuals from a large congregation.  This church has well over 1000 members.  They have been fundraising and working for a couple of weeks.  They have shared with me that their goal for contribution to this endeavor is $2,500.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm excited and thrilled that they are shooting to contribute this much.  It's roughly one dirt bike.  I hope they exceed their goal.

But, here's the rub, and the reason "the sin of pride" is creeping upon me.  For several weeks, I sent a sponsor sheet around my congregation asking folks to sponsor me.  Most folks wrote down what they would contribute.  Others left that part blank, but they will get money to me when all is said and done.  Simply tabulating what is on my sheet alone (believe me, more has come in from folks in my congregation that haven't signed up) was $2,750.  My church has roughly 360 members. 

This doesn't include their contributions of bottled water and snacks for the journeys.  It doesn't include the donated hours of time that they have put in either.

Now, I am not necessarily trying to say that my congregation is somehow better than this other church.  No.  Not a chance.  This other church has other activities that they blow us out of the water with, but I am saying that I am proud of my folks.  Their generosity is outstanding, and...dare I say it...I am proud of them.

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