I am anxious. I’m thinking of buying one of those things that keep you from grinding your teeth in your sleep, because I’m waking up every morning with a teeth-grinding induced headache.

There’s this thing going on at the church where I work this weekend. I have a lot of preparatory tasks related to it, in addition to my normal pile. I also am required to attend about 14 hours of meetings over the weekend, but these 14 hours are not hours for which I will be paid. It makes me want to stand up on my desk chair and wave a cardboard with “union” hastily penciled on it This church thing also has the potential to drastically alter my work here, and I am not convinced these will be positive alterations. Already they’ve made me use the word “missional” in several documents. Missional is not a motherfucking word, motherfuckers.

Maybe it seems odd to hang up on a word. But it has always seemed to me, as a Christian and as a writer, that as people of the book, as people who call our savior the Word we ought to be judicious and elegant with our language. We can and ought speak the truth of Christ with out using ugly words made up to sell toothpaste.

Yeah, bold words for someone who just used the word motherfucker twice. I know. Sigh.

You can’t sell toothpaste with the word motherfucker. Probably. I don’t know.

Anyway. My job description may grow without my wages increasing on the recommendation of these alleged experts. I may be called upon to do things I find contrary to what I consider appropriate. Or that are just stupid. And all this makes me anxious. I’m not getting rich or famous or covered by health insurance. But I am working hard and passionately for something I believe in. But I don’t want to feel compromised, to feel exploited. And, since it’s a church, all of this anxiety is tied up with larger issues about what I believe about authority and what I believe about laboring for Christ.

I feel anxious also because, although I think just maybe church work is what I’m supposed to do, I also think there’s a lot of bullshit. I hate bullshit. A hatred of bullshit is, it seems to me, the leading cause of people getting out of work in this denomination. That’s what happened variously with my sister the former youth pastor and my all-time favorite Our Kind of Mainline Protestant minister. Or maybe it was because both of them like wearing bucket hats.

Anyway. I suppose I should take deep breaths and trust God. I’m trying that. And switching from black coffee to “calm”-flavored tea. And burning “relax” candles. And, yeah, going to the drugstore for that thing that prevents teeth grinding.

I probably shouldn’t wear it while I’m awake, but already I’m tempted.

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