Thursday, March 27, 2014

Preparations and Thomas Potter

Painting. It seems so very straightforward.  "Oh, I am going to pick out some paint and take care of the walls in that room." But there are so very many steps that come before painting a single stroke. Clearing stuff out of the room, washing the walls, doing any patching that needs doing (then sanding and finagling, then texturizing a bit), covering the walls, taping the trim and counters and whatnot, priming... the size of the room has very little to do with the time it takes to finish the process.

Prep is not at all glamorous. There is no sudden transformation, no sense of accomplishment, and the chaos seems to increase exponentially before there is any real progress. Sometimes I wonder WHAT I was possibly thinking, to come up with such an idea...

But without this prep, the paint wouldn't stick, or it might even accentuate every imperfection in the wall.  And if I forget to tape, I will definitely make a giant mess.

Sometimes life itself is all about laying good groundwork.

My spiritual story here is that of Thomas Potter, the 18th century farmer who came to believe in Universalism. He allowed people to worship on his land, and in a true Field of Dreams moment, decided to build a church with the hopes of a Universalist minister coming to serve.  Ten years passed and he had found no such minister.  But he was steadfast, even when his neighbors and family doubted.

The story goes that a ship got moored on a sandbar near Thomas, and he approached the ship with interest. And there was John Murray, a known English Universalist preacher, who had left his native land as his life and finances and spirit crumbled. John was certain he would never preach again, but Thomas made a deal--if the winds allow your ship to sail off, godspeed. But if you remain stuck here Sunday, please, come preach! And thus, on September 30, 1770, Murray preached in Potter's church.

You can learn much more about this story at the Murray Grove website.

And now I need to get back to taping...

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