I think I had vague images of a bunch of solemn old men (which my dad wasn't) sitting around in suits, speaking very quietly of who was "doing well" in the church and who wasn't. Like, who was showing up looking appropriately solemn, who was actually opening the Bible and reading along during the scripture readings, and who could be counted on to give comfort to the shut-ins.
And by the way, I was absolutely fascinated by shut-ins. Who were these people, how did they get to be shut-ins, and, most importantly, how does one accomplish the actual "shutting in?" Seriously -- does being a shut-in mean you can't go to the grocery? To the end of the driveway to get your mail? What do they do if they run out of toilet paper? I finally determined that they must all be suffering from agoraphobia (that is the one where you're afraid to leave the house, isn't it?), which meant that I didn't think it was very nice for us to go Christmas caroling to a shut-in's house. Prolly scared the you-know-what out of them.
So, anyway. The Deacons meeting. Almost a disappointment. All that really happened was I got my list of people I'm supposed to keep in contact with. There wasn't even a secret handshake or a pledge to the deacon flag.
Todd picked me up after the meeting, and I showed him the list. He seemed surprised -- "All those people are shut-ins?"
Well, no, actually, they're not. At least I don't think so. And if any of them are, I'd like to know so I can ask them some of the above questions.
On our way home, there was an interview on NPR with some dude who has just written a biography of Condeleeza Rice. It seems that poor ol' Condy had her hopes and dreams dashed at the ripe old age of seventeen when -- as a sophomore in COLLEGE -- she learned that she wasn't good enough to be a concert pianist.
Well, sheesh. Just cry me a stinking river.
ANYWAY -- so since recovering from that devastation, Condy apparently no longer makes long-term plans. (I ask you -- is that a good quality in a Secretary of State?)
But -- the point of all this -- the guy who wrote the biography explained this no-planning thing by saying, "Well, she IS a Presbyterian."
Wha . . huh?
Let me tell you, though, a group that does believe in long-term plans? Boy scouts. Todd and I were talking to a kid, probably 12 years old if he's a day, about his scout troop. Todd encouraged him to continue with it until he makes Eagle Scout.
To which the kid replied: "Oh, of course. It will look good on my resume."