Monday, September 17, 2007

Monday Morning Rant (4)

People in rural areas have some privileges denied to urban dwellers. As members of a consumer owned rural electric cooperative, we are entitled to attend the annual field day and general meeting of the co-op.

I gladly did this last Friday and came away well fed (steak sandwich and the trimmings), gifted (a tote cup and one of those new mercury light bulbs,) and enlightened about the progress (we made money) Ozark Electric had made this past year, in spite of the ice storm in January.

During the course of the meeting I was also spiritually elevated. Kailey Tyler of Willard spoke and related her adventures representing the co-op and the state of Missouri in national competition in Washington, D.C. and she gave her speech, “We The People” which took second place nationally. Her speech gave lie to the myths of all our young people being hopeless, dope smoking, lazy, ignorant clods. It was brilliantly delivered in clear, well organized language and with treasured ideas. Her respect for the history and tradition of America rang throughout the presentation. She was also not shy about mentioning the role of God in its formation and its continued growth. All in all, a sterling performance by an excellent representative of her family, community, state, co-op and especially, her age group. With folks like Kailey Tyler, there is indeed, hope for the republic.


When Jan first got the idea to have a blog she was seeking answers she couldn't seem to get on other venues. At the time, I warned her that there was a lot more to blogging than met the eye. One of things we discussed was, putting up with trolls. Since I have about 75 or more blogs on my favorites list, I was a little more familiar with the medium. Posters and commenters who exist solely to be disruptive do prowl the net. Generally they are either anonymous or use multiple alias’s, and are nearly always recognizable. They normally use deceptive interpretations or faux scholarship to change the meaning of the original post. As a rule they start with some minor flattery to get your attention and then lower the boom.

Since we have a spiritually based subject we assumed that we wouldn’t have much problem. Then, I was somewhat hurt that no one cared enough about us to become our own personal resident troll. Suddenly it was like Christmas morning; “Gee Mom and Dad, you mean I now have my very own troll?” Yep, they came out from under the bridge and made their presence known. The M.O. was typical – no real names, accusations of intellectual inability, far out questioning of accepted doctrine, and veiled insults.

As a team, we rarely have a reason to even consider deleting a comment before it posts. We don’t do “tin foil hats,” named personal attacks, and of course blasphemy. If questions are asked and we feel the commenter is sincere, we answer to the best of our ability. If we consider the commenter to be a troll, we choose to just ignore it, much the same as one ignores a petulant child. So, to our anonymous trolls – knock yourselves out but don’t expect a response.


Nathan Baldwin put up a comment on the center place message board this morning about who rises to the occasion to further the work of the church. He, rightly, points out that the same people seem to show up to do the work. It’s true in every branch. Priesthood and members alike have individuals who find the time and the energy necessary to further the work of the Kingdom at their level. There is always a small cadre who emerge as leaders to direct the activities and participate in the “grunt” work. Throughout we notice the same people serving the food, conducting the classes (in Sunday school or reunion,) conducting a missionary effort, mowing the grass and serving the Lord. Some of these are acknowledged, but, many are not.

The quality of work they accomplish is sometimes criticized by those whose greatest effort is lifting a hymnal. At the missionary level, some poor elder who is really sweating it out in some backwater third world excuse for a country is knocked for his failure to baptize the universe of people lined up at the door of the mission. The sister who is responsible for arranging to have the church cleaned hears all about every overlooked speck of dust and water spot on the chrome fixtures in the ladies room. When all else fails, blame it on the pastor. If the Lord was this impatient with our meager efforts, we would all be in dire peril.

If you think a stray Coke can in the parking lot is a disgrace to the faith, bend over and pick it up. If you feel a Sunday school class mixes too many grade levels in a class, get off your stumps and offer to teach an additional section. If you believe the folks you encounter in the work place are too rude and crude for salvation, think again and practice your own missionary skills. It’s not “our” church alone. It belongs to God and it’s up to each of us to provide an environment to glorify His name. The name on the sign should say it all: The Restored Church of Jesus Christ!

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

No comments: