For four years I was an Assemblies of God minister and a monk with the Brothers and Sisters of Charity at the Little Portion Hermitage. This is an excerpt from my book Taking Off My Comfortable Clothes: Removing Religion to Find Relationship.
One fine summer day at the monastery, I went to the garage and got the weed eater. But try as I might, I could not get the weed eater to start. Does it have gas? Check. Is the spark plug okay? Check. Well, that’s as far as my small engine talents can take me. So, let’s pull on the rope some more. Once more. One more time. Pull again. Pull. Pull pull pull pull pull pull pull pull. About the time I started to feel the blister come up on my finger from jerking on the rope, I’d had enough. I laid hands upon it (in the name of Jesus, of course) and removed the offending member from my presence.
I didn’t really believe that a long flight out the garage door would help the obstinate weed eater start. But for that brief, wonderful moment, the sight of the obnoxious, obviously UNSAVED weed eater flying helplessly and unrepentantly across the driveway and into the shrubs by the common center made me feel better. Walking out into the bright sun to retrieve the varmint, I bought it back into the garage and tried it once again. I was right. It still didn’t start.
Fast-forward to the next available Friday. Friday morning is the time when, during morning prayers, we all had the opportunity to confess any sins that needed to be, well, confessed. Continue Reading