Thursday, March 12, 2009

Perspective

Some of our language's most familiar cliches are about perspective:
The grass is always greener on the other side.
Is the grass half empty or half full?

Admittedly, MPC and I are in the very beginning of the honeymoon phase so life is quite blissful at the moment. But it is already clear that they have a different perspective on me than DPC had.
MPC has begun with the assumption that I know what I am doing.
DPC began with (and in many cases kept) the assumption that I did not know what I was doing.

In fairness to DPC, although I had five years of church experience prior to going to school, I did arrive there out of seminary. Of course, over seven years later, many there were still treating me as if I knew very little... and deserved even less.

It's hard to name specifics, but I noticed the shift almost immediately. I had often used the phrase 'cultural collateral' to describe my frustrations with DPC. One of my frustrations was that no matter how much I did, with a few there was no cultural collateral to be gained. I constantly felt like I was proving myself to them with the lesson well learned that I am held accountable to God, no one else.

At MPC there is already a freedom that I am being trusted to do my job. There is no ethic of work-a-holicism. There is no withholding of funds because the Treasurer doesn't feel like writing the check. There is no filling out a huge form about the tasks I have completed which sometimes ends up taking longer and being more tedious than the task itself.

Now, I am not naive. I am trying to balance myself between realistic and 'waiting for the other shoe to drop'. I am still going to keep track of the major categories: visits, events, meetings. And they don't need to worry about my work ethic. But I think that is just the thing. At some point after two... four... six years I could never understand why DPC was still worrying about my work ethic.
And not giving me a legitimate reimbursement owed. Still.

There is a lot to do and I am experienced enough to know there are more lessons to be learned and some of them are going to hurt, but for now I am basking in the glow of a change in perspective.

15 comments:

DogBlogger said...

Glad that you're getting this chance to bask. (((kathrynzj)))

reverendmother said...

TBTG for new adventures and a foundation of trust.

Jane Ellen+ said...

Lovely! I hope to have such an experience, someday...

zorra said...

How refreshing! I'm glad you're in such a good situation.

Drew Tatusko said...

I think what happens is that you also learn how to approach a new situation and a new culture. You get a better intuition about how to be political when you need to be from the very start and that helps set the tone. And, it might just be better "chemistry" which you really can't assess objectively at all.

Kathryn said...

Just lovely to read this, Hooray :-)

Songbird said...

There's also a "Church Personality" factor in every case; some churches expect to be ripped off or disappointed or mistreated, while others anticipate the best you can give, and the rare few expect humanity. I'm glad you're in a better place.

Juniper said...

ditto Songbird, and there's something too, about chemistry and a good fit - so glad you've found that the grass really is greener.

cheesehead said...

Glad for this. And glad for the new (to me) phrase "cultural collateral". It describes so much about my current situation. After five years, St S is still holding its breath, assuming I will either burn the house down or abscond with all the investment accounts. (Neither of which has ever happened there, BTW.)

Rev Dr Mom said...

I'm glad you're in a better place; what Songbird said is something we talked about in seminary, and it's so interesting seeing it reflected as I read some of the revgal blogs, esp. you and SB and Cheesehead.

Hope the goodness continues!

Kathrynzj said...

Yes, sb is right. And the past church's personality is reflected in their farming community. There is no grace in farming. You never actually reap more than you sow. The cows have to be milked every. day. Even on Christmas and when your kid is sick and when you have a migraine.

Also important to note that really there were only a handful carrying that flag and because they were the loudest I listened to them WAY too much. Of course, when someone is withholding your paycheck it's hard not to listen.

God_Guurrlll said...

Hi!

I'm so glad I found your new blog. I'm glad you are in a good place. Your situation does give me hope in the possibility of resurrection.

Peace and love,

Beach Walkin said...

I'm doing the happy dance for you! I think it is absolutely lovely that things are going well... and that you are being respected. WOOT!

mid-life rookie said...

I taught for 20 years in three different school districts. I don't remember new teacher orientation at the first one. I was very young then. I do remember the other two. At the second district we were basically told, "There are lots of teachers out there and you are replaceable. Don't mess up." At the third one which has always ranked higher in state ratings said this, "There are lots of teachers out there. We chose you because you are the cream of the crop." Big difference in the welcome and in the attitude of the administration toward teachers and therefore in the attitude of teachers toward the administration and their jobs. I'm glad you've been recognized as "the cream of the crop."

Mary Beth said...

Hooray for you!!! and them.