The Jet Age


Has anyone else gotten into the new ABC show Pan-Am? I love it. I love historical stories with female leads. (Thank you, American Girls) The series focuses on the complex-but-still-mild-enough-to-show-on-television stories behind the clean and girdled air hostesses galavanting across the globe in 1963. How glamorous. 

That’s what everyone says that the airline industry used to be: glamorous. I’m too young to know. But it’s my understanding that in the beginning, the airlines had to be glamorous. It was a marketing strategy to help customers get over the idea that they were, in fact, getting in a tube to hurl through the sky at 500 miles per hour. 

Maybe it’s a testament to how adaptable humanity is, that now, just a generation later, flying involves sweatpants and sleeping pills. Getting in a tube to hurl through the sky at 500 miles per hour becomes a chore. Whatever. 

For me, it’s easy to let my relationship with God go the way of the airline industry. To let myself get comfortable and forget that God is first and foremost a big and powerful God. To let worshipping something to large and grand feel more like a chore. I get used to God. Whatever.

Maybe the fix is to opt for whatever the metaphorical window seat is and absorb the full view of this greatness. Maybe the fix lies in seeing my ginger ale and honey roasted peanuts as a makeshift communion. 

Whatever the fix is, I draw the line at wearing a girdle. 


Practically Perfect in Every Way

In one of my meetings with my parish community of faith group (the 4 people I met with weekly for a month to try and listen to what God was calling me to do) the group decided to outline what they thought were qualities a priest should have: a good pastor, a good preacher, a good administrator, can be tough or gentle when need be… the list continued as you can imagine.
My eyes grew wide as I grew silent. It reminded me of that scene in the beginning of Mary Poppins where Jane and Michael list the qualities they would like in the nanny:
And I’d be lying if I said I weren’t ready to leave the room then and there. As honest as they were in their description, I was intimidated. What’s the word for the opposite of a perfectionist? That’s the word that would describe me. Sure I know my strengths, but I also know my weaknesses and I’m pretty okay with them. My desk is never tidy. I have child-like handwriting. My dog cries when I sing. I consider my faith central in my life, but my biblical knowledge is amateur at best.
I’m no Mary Poppins.
But who is? (besides Jesus, Captain Obvious) I’ve met a lot of priests and not one of them completely filled my committee’s expectations of a priest. But most of them are still great priests. But for me, how can I give my life to a calling with impossibly high standards I know I can’t live up to?
I think the answer lies in remembering that I’m not alone in this. I have had and will continue to have great friends, family, coworkers and acquaintances to help me with my inadequacies. And God. It’s only with the help of all of these that perhaps I can become and thrive as a priest.