The Pastor's Peace - October, 2011
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The Popcorn Festival is over, the corn is gone, the roasters are cleaned out, and we ended the festival with around $3,200 in sales. It was another successful Popcorn Festival, and another successful fundraiser. Of course it could have been a bit better in terms of sales. As anyone who was there will tell you, Sunday was super-duper, amazingly busy. We were selling corn left and right; chicken and noodles were flying out of there as fast as we could spoon them. Everything was shaping up for it to be the best Sunday of sales ever. Then at 4PM it happened. Just as the dinner crowd was coming, there was a lightning strike several miles away, and the organizers decided to shut the festival down.

Talk about disappointment!!!

I stood there looking at the coolers full of cooked corn, stood there thinking about the $500 or so in sales we would not get, and I have to admit I was a little sad. I understand that the safe thing to do was to stop the festival early, but that didn’t change the fact that I was disappointed that we had worked so hard, and now we were going to miss out on a pretty sizable amount of fundraising for the church. The funny thing about disappointments, however, is that they are tied to expectations, and unfortunately these expectations are usually of our own creation. What I didn’t understand at the time was that these expectations were getting in the way of something greater.
Talking to Charmayne about her expectations eventually made me understand the whole situation differently. As we were getting ready to pack up, Charmayne shared with me the good news that her Candy Bouquet booth had won a ribbon for best decorated booth of that type. She didn’t even know they were giving out ribbons, and she told me that even if she had not sold one bouquet that day, the fact that she won that ribbon made the whole thing worth while. I pondered that a bit, I guess, somewhere in the back of my brain, as we loaded everything on the truck and unloaded at the church.

After all the work at the church was done, we volunteers sat back in fellowship hall, relaxed a bit, and told stories of childhood, growing up in Beavercreek, and people from the past. I heard again about Mark Stewart, flying trash cans, and chalk bits thrown so fast and close that you could hear them whizzing by your ear. It struck me then as we sat in the basement, everyone laughing and smiling, that this was my ribbon and I didn’t even know it. The fact that I got to work with, spend time with, and know the wonderful people of this church was the true blessing of that weekend. Even if we had not sold one ear of double-dipped corn, it would have been worth it. God can do a funny thing with expectations, usually when we least expect it. Thank you, everyone who helped with the Popcorn Festival. It was great as always, and I look forward to next year and more memories.

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Brian