Just finished the Nov 6 broadcast. What grabbed me most was not the announcement about not counting time. I’ve gotten used to the idea in the past few weeks. I decided to go out with a bang, reporting 50,000 hours to the secretary. When he said that was physically impossible, I answered, “Go to the ant, you lazy one.”
So, the time announcement was anticipated. The talk that got me going and was not anticipated was the one about conversations, the accompanying brochure, and the news that it would soon be incorporated into the midweek meeting. Loved that part.
I’ve been uncomfortable voicing that I thought most of the suggested presentations were clunkers, so I didn’t voice it. But now that they are on their way out the door, I can. It’s not that they can’t work, or that they were inherently bad. They weren’t. It was that it meant using someone else’s words. That’s hard to pull off. Of course, any number of times the organization said you don’t have to use them; feel free to do something else, put everything in your own words, but there’s something about the friends to make them feel you were all but disloyal not to use them.
I abandoned them long ago for a much easier approach that involves an offer to read a scripture and leave—staying only if that offer is accepted. If it is, having read the verse, then is the person up for considering it briefly? Lately it has been. ‘The world’s crazy. We think the Bible can help—why it is that way, what can we expect, how to cope in the meantime. I want to read you a verse, you tell me what you think, and we’re on our way. Good idea?’ After reading it, ‘The next move is up to you and you don’t have to make one. I can discuss or go now—up to you.’ It works at least as well as anything else I have seen. And more importantly, it’s no stress.
So long as we were using those scripted presentations at the meetings, one could hardly speak against them—it smacked too much of saying ‘contemptible bread’—couldn’t do it. But now that they are on their way out anyway—well, don’t let the door hit you in the rear end as you leave! Oh yeah—moving on. Learn to converse. Learn to use your own words, not someone else’s. And, glory be, base whatever you say on how people are in your territory, something the scripted presentations can’t possibly take into account.
The grapevine had it that the new publication was like a Make Sure of All Things; Hold Fast to What is Fine, only geared toward the friends. The grapevine was wrong. Instead, it is a tool to advance conversation. The twelve or so attributes are all there in order to enhance conversational ability through their cultivation. I like it.
Of course, the new change wasn’t introduced as above. Instead, it was ‘What was wonderful has become even more wonderful!’ Lots of fond reminiscing about doing things the old way. Ah, well, I guess it must be done that way. In this cynical age, crack the door open even a little to previous things having been bloopers, and there’s no telling what we’ll all be like, dissing everything. Were they even bloopers? Some things are good for their time and then times change.
****** The bookstore