Confessions of St. Wannabe
Stories of one man's futile efforts to abolish imperfection, live the dream
and walk on water. He thought Jesus said 'Come'. What he said is 'Umm'.
I wrote an anonymous humor column for a minister's newsletter in the 90’s. Read by
pastors of small rural churches. Like myself. I called it ‘The Confessions of St. Percival’.
Fictional diary entries by Pastor Percy. Carefully typed and kept in a shoe-box. Til now.
Percy was quite content until his trip to the city. Now he thinks he’s called by God to
build his tiny flock into the next megachurch. FYI: He’s not. And here’s why I say that.
#1. Because I'm slow to believe anyone who starts sentences with “God told me … “.
#2. Because God told me He never said any such thing. Since I made Percy in my own
image, I believe Him. We both have a gift for making churches smaller. Not visa-versa.
#3. Another reason I don’t buy it. His tiny flock lives in a tiny town 100 miles from the
nearest big city. Which has fewer people than the smallest church in Idaho. Only if he
counts actual sheep can he reach his goal of 1000. Of which only 43 can tithe or vote.
So what’s behind Percy’s vision if it isn’t God? #1. Percy has a fragile ego. In fact, it’s
been on life support for 20 years. Except on Christmas and Easter. #2. His life motto is
‘Go big or Go home!’ Any guess where he is now? Bingo. And guess where home is?
Smallsville, USA. If you can't reach a dream, revise it. His new motto? ‘There’s no place
like home! Why go big if you can go home .. and renovate! But when you do, go big!”
Rules for going big. #1 Don’t make stupid mistakes. #2 But if you do, learn from it. So far
he's batting zero. So he added two: #3 ‘Measure twice. Cut once’. #4 If you still mess up,
buy a new tape measure. Due to a setback, he cut #5: ‘Avoid setbacks’.
Oh. One more tidbit. Percy has ADHD. Easily distracted. Forgets everything. Loses stuff
all the time. Can’t stay organized. Both a blessing and a curse. What’s the blessing? No
one knows. Except Percy. And he only sees it after the fact. He claims his ADHD is his
greatest asset and has 3 reasons why. But don’t ask what they are. He can’t remember.
So who is ‘St. Wannabe’? Me. Percy. All of us. We all ‘wear Saul’s armor’ at times. We try
to be someone we’re not or take on roles we aren’t called to or that don’t fit us. It just
adds to our stress. But what a relief to let go of unrealistic expectations and just be who
God made us to be. In whatever place He puts us. Even if it's ‘Smallsville, USA’.
Another way to spell relief is comic relief. Which we need. Laughter is good for the soul.
I laughed a lot as I wrote 'St. Percival'. It relieved a lot of my stress and lifted my spirits. It
also helped me not take myself or 'my ministry' so seriously. A lesson I'm needing again.
So let’s join Pastor Percy as he goes where no small town pastor has ever gone before.
And probably shouldn’t.
If he knows what's good for him.