January 23 I was “installed” as pastor at Columbus Community Congregational Church. It had been joked that it was going to be my “coronation.” I responded in kind that I would “polish my tiara.” My friend and colleague Meg was the speaker. She carried the joke forward. Saying she was sure that I was too humble to actually bring a tiara, she pulled from a bag a lovely cowboy hat. She proceeded to place it on my head, identifying it as my “Montana Tiara.”
The most amusing aspect of this for me, however, was how my attitude evolved about this event. Initially, I thought “ho-hum, a necessary formality.” But then I took more initiative in planning for the ceremony. I asked Meg to speak. I asked that the formalities be kept simple. I decided to read a poem and sing a solo in response to my installation. The day turned out to be a lovely celebration. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Those who attended seemed to really appreciate the upbeat atmosphere of the ceremony.
What difference might it make if we approached matters in another way? Tasks that might otherwise seem to be boring or drudgery or overwhelming, instead might become a challenge, an opportunity to take initiative to alter the situation.
An extreme example is currently in the news of Lily Ebert, the 98 year-old Auschwitz survivor who wrote Lily’s Promise: How I Survived Auschwitz and Found the Will To Survive. Much like Victor Frankl, who survived concentration camp imagining himself as a professor teaching at a university, she made it her intention to live to tell her story.
I don’t expect to ever experience anything as traumatic as those situations. But I do know I sometimes I have an attitude that makes even ordinary tasks more difficult than they need to be. And I know life can challenge us in ways we never expect. My Montana Tiara serves to remind me that I choose my attitude and the approach I take in situations that present themselves to me.
May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter. Shalom, Kate
Hope’s Café Bonus: My Montana Tiara!