Construction Lessons

Done! Sort of. After several weeks of work, staff and volunteers have finally gotten our building up and running again. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned in the process:

1) Be grateful for–but don’t necessarily accept–every offer of help.

New kitchen complete!

New kitchen complete!

2) Experience is a great teacher, and a tutor an even better one. But never underestimate what you can learn by watching YouTube.

3) The uses for silicon caulk may rival duct tape.

4) Measure twice, cut once,” is at once a brilliant and impossible strategy for me.

5) Tile saws can literally freeze up if the weather gets cold enough.

6) Imagination and ingenuity are at least as important as resources available.

7) Those with less to give tend to offer the most. Our biggest single donor to the reconstruction effort was a church of about 50. A sister organization collected money throughout the fall to help with the repairs, despite their own budget difficulties. This is one of the more humbling lessons.

I’m sure there are others, but that will do for now. I would say I’m happy to be back to full time ministry again, but the truth is I never left it. Making space is as much a task of ministry as preaching or counseling. How many other jobs require so much of you, but also teach so much to you? It’s a good time to be in campus ministry.


Lessons from a Bicycle

What can you learn from a bicycle? A fair amount, I’m convinced. But I think the learning increases exponentially when you take a tour with friends.

Last week, I helped lead a 160-mile tour through southern and central Indiana with three other campus ministers and thirteen college students. Many of them were novice riders who had never been more than fifteen miles on a bicycle at one time. Much of this trip was about teaching them to ride or to work together to support the riders.

The last night, however, was about listening to the trip participants talk about the things they learned from the trip. It seems to me that their insights make for terrific life metaphors, plenty applicable to bikers and non-bikers alike.

So here is a partial list of TdF 2013 Lessons from a Bicycle:

Personal space is important. But don’t fall out of earshot of the others.
Watch out for each other. It’s the best way to live.
You have to know when to push forward, but also when to stop.
Pay attention. Anything can happen.
Sometimes it’s okay to get lost.
Then again, you aren’t really lost until you run out of gas.
Surprisingly good things happen when your cell phone is stowed away for a few hours.
We are capable of more than we think.
We are capable of eve more when we work together.
Sometimes those that are easiest to overlook are the most important to our journey.
The downhills are all the sweeter when you earn them on the uphills.
The hills look bigger from a distance. Once you’re on them, all you can do is pedal
So don’t stop pedaling. Ever.

More thoughts from Tour de Faith to come in the weeks ahead, I’m sure. Until then, stay safe and ride on!