Monday, May 7, 2007

Goading the rhino

I had the great fortune of sitting next to Chip Lee+ at our diocesan convention this weekend. I can't speculate on whether he feels the same about sitting next to me or not, but that's not my issue. Chip+ has been in Western Maryland's Garrett County for many years and is one of our more technical clerics. He designed the web page for the county (see Episcopal Church in Garrett County) and has a sound studio in his home where he records both Morning and Evening Prayer (available through aforementioned web site). He's a true "idoloclast" - smashing the vestiges of idols where 'ere he goes. Oh yeah, and he won the Bishop's Award for Outstanding Clergy Leadership.

Chip+ gave me the gift of laughter this weekend and a great saying, which he claims is overused, but I beg to differ. I'd like to think it's ubiquitous ... kinda like the "right hand of God" ... but not that reverent. His saying is an observation about the Church:
Challenging the Church is like goading a Rhino. Getting it pissed off is the easy part. Getting it to change direction once it's charging is another thing altogether.
As I learned this weekend, goading a rhino doesn't even take any special talents. Any pastor or priest can goad the rhino without even knowing they are doing it. I haven't even arrived at my first call yet and it seems I've already done it ... even though I didn't know it. After many phone calls later to sooth raw nerves and calm down the flurry of e-mails which have made it look like World War III is about to erupt in cyberspace, I think the rhino stopped charging ... I think ... maybe ... maybe it's just turning around to see where I'm hiding. Oy!

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