I was playing ping pong with Jon the other day when we stumbled on an interesting learning moment. Jon is a 2-year intern with Saddleback’s High School Ministry, he’s been great so far and is wrapping up his time serving with HSM through this September. About halfway through the match we noticed that a ton of the ceiling tiles above the tables were out of place. Not a couple of them, but about half of them, all cock-eyed and messy. It looked really poor, so much so that we both commented on them.
After a few more rounds of table tennis (I was up four games to nil at this point), we started to fix the skewed ceiling. It wasn’t necessarily convenient for us, we had to mess with a few of them for a quite a while to get them in place. Some were breaking apart a little bit and getting that nasty dust in our faces and hair. Some were just out of reach so we had to pull over a chair to get them in place. But all in all, it took just a few minutes to get everything back perfectly in place. It went from messy chaos to clean and sharp. Perfect!
A short while later, a lady came over from the other side of the room that had been watching us the whole time. She said things like, “isn’t it terrible how students treat this building?” and, “I noticed how bad those ceiling tiles looked earlier and was going to say something.” She had a few other general complaints about the condition of the facility and made note to remind us of the significant effort we had just put out. She continued to mutter about things as she walked away.
I turned to Jon and said, “Dude, what a missed opportunity that poor lady had. She even noticed the problem and didn’t do anything about it. Worse yet, she sat there frustrated about the problem. Then she watched us take care of it! Dude … never become that person. Don’t let our students grow up to be that person. We have enough adults in our church who just sit and sour over stupid things. Just fix the ceiling tiles.”
I hope our few minutes fixing the ceiling tiles sticks with Jon for a while. I know it will for me. Jon went on to destroy me in game 5, possibly because I was mentally writing this blog post instead of concentrating on the game.
Don’t be that person in your church. Be a servant in your church this week. There is enough people sitting around pointing out trouble and the trouble-makers. Fix the ceiling tiles.