November 05, 2009

The Pastor's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I went to sleep hoping for a divine vision, but if it came, I couldn't remember because the kids cried out all night and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped over the dog and by mistake I cut myself while shaving and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

At breakfast there were Rice Krispees for Ethan and Kix for Tristan but when I reached for my box of Cheerios, it was empty, and I'm also out of green tea, and I didn't notice the Kix that fell on the floor until I stepped on them.

I think I'll move to Australia.

I rode my bike to church because I care about the environment (and my wife has the car this morning), but on the way a truck almost ran me into a guardrail. I yelled to the driver that I was being smushed (or something to that effect). He didn't care.

I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

At church, one member told me how much she likes Joel Osteen's sermons, but she didn't say anything about mine. Another member called to tell me that I'm not in the office enough, while I third member sent an email complaining I don't spend enough time visiting shut-ins.

I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

I could tell because when I got online, I noticed that one of the church youth un-friended me on facebook. He said it wasn't cool to have pastor leaving comments on his home page.

I hope your efforts to get the old facebook back fail, I said to him. I hope your farmville barn gets swept up in a tornado and crashes down in Australia.

The secretary got a coupon for a free Jamba Juice in the mail, and the music director got a free CD with cool music on it. Guess who got only junk mail?

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

That's what it was, because I got the directions wrong to the clergy association meeting and arrived twenty minutes late, missing the free lunch. We'll save you some next month, I was told.

Next month, I said, I'm going to Australia.

So then we started talking about how ministry was going. The Episcopalian priest just got a big raise, the Methodist minister welcomed five new families last week, and the Baptist preacher said that his youth group just finished building a new school for orphans in Mongolia. I felt like crying because my biggest accomplishment of the week was unclogging the toilet in the men's room, and I hadn't received a raise in three years.

I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, I started to say, but I realized that no one wanted to hear that.

When I got back to the chruch I finished my sermon, but the computer crashed before I could save it. Then I tried restoring the file but ended up spamming the entire congregation. When, an hour later, the computer was running again, I replied to an email from the board chair, letting her know how frustrated I was with a certain committee chair, except that I accidentally clicked "reply all," and so I had to send another email apologizing to everyone.

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

The treasurer stopped by to talk about the budget and I hate talking about budgets.

There was a hint of judgment in my "verse of the day" and I hate judgment.

The copier jammed, I couldn't find the book I wanted, my bank says I'm overdrawn, and the phone company wants me to pay my bill. I hate the phone company.

On the way home a teenager yelled at me out his car window, and then I went to make dinner but all we had was a box of mac and cheese, and when I drained the water, half the pasta fell into the sink.

I went to tuck the kids in bed, but they said they wanted their mom instead of me.

It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

My wife says some days are like that.

Even in Australia.

...with apologies to Judith Viorst


Katherine said...


I hope today is better!!

Danny Bradfield said...

Well, this post is, as they say, "inspired by true events." It is a composite of a whole bunch of days, with some artistic license of course. But the day I started writing it, I really did feel like whining about ministry. I hate whining, though, so I wrote this instead. Writing it made me laugh, which was what I needed more than whining, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Oh Danny, you are brilliant! Of course, this is a composite - no one could have all that happen in ONE day. But it is a great, great story and does deserve publication. Thank you for your amazing writing skills.
Susan Hamilton