This weekend, I volunteered in Nora Lea’s Sunday school. This to me is sacrifice. I’ve been parenting a heck of a lot more than usual. That hour of peace is golden. But, uh, tis the season of sacrifice. Ha.
The Sunday School at the church we currently attend is in the Montessori tradition — the “Atrium” or Catechesis of the Good Shepard. This is new to me. I’m from the popsicle stick Sunday school tradition of crafts and sour smelling coffee breath.
In this version of class, the kids have beautiful “materials” and do “work” and they’re silent and contemplative and I’ve never seen anything like it.
This week’s lesson was about the Maxims. And, well, it was exactly at my level. The teacher pulled out some tablets from a wooden case. Each tablet had a maxim on it and the kids talked about what each phrase meant to them.
My internal thoughts mirrored most of the kids’ reactions. She started with a doozy.
“Love your enemies.”
One little boy said, “I hate robbers – there is NO WAY I could love robbers.” My daughter named a boy on the playground who kicks her a lot and another girl joined in that he was her enemy too. I am embarassed to admit I thought about an evil old boss that is having a hard time finding a job. I thought about the secret glee I’ve taken in his struggle.
The teacher talked about ways to love our enemies – pray for them. Since I’m not quite at praying yet, I had to change it to words I could understand. To me that meant, “think good thoughts for them,” or “care about them as if they were your friend or family.”
Some more maxims from the day follow. I’m not going to give the bible quotation because seeing bible citations somehow makes my brain turn off. But as for citations, these all came from the bible and are all pretty good advice.
“Give when you are asked to give and do not turn your back on someone who wants to borrow.”
(It’s time to give. Somewhere.)
“Do good to those who hate you.”
(Hello Men’s Right’s Activists.)
“Always treat others the way you would have them treat you.”
(One of the ways I do this is when I don’t turn in my best work.)
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust consume.”
(Clinging to a garagefull.)
“Say ‘yes’ when you mean yes and ‘no’ when you mean no.”
(This was the royal ouch! My flaking is seriously problematic, and if I took this one to heart, I’d have much stronger relationships.)
After Sunday School, we attended a fancy Academy Awards party at a swanky cigar shop and men’s club in Napa — my first real sober event where everyone was drinking. It was absolutely, no big deal. Three cheers for luxury! Three cheers for selfies!