And Conference begins. I have lived General Conference for four years. So many hours in meetings, emails, phone calls, and conversations. So much prayer. So much joy and pain. So many decisions, big and small.
And now it has begun.
It is really hard for me to not begin with a list of things that have gone wrong on the first day. No one was present for the First Time Delegates Orientation. FAIL. Convention Center WiFi is not what was promised. Queuing tablets can’t work when the wifi is weak. FAIL. Bishop falls from stage and has to be taken to the hospital. FAIL. Interpretation equipment not passed out to everyone and then the list that they had was out of date. FAIL. Training for small group leaders not scheduled prior to small groups happening. FAIL.
See how hard it is for me to not think these things? I just listed those things off the top of my head. I’m sure I didn’t hit them all. In my address to the Conference, I tried to share how hard it is to make everything come together. And the pain that we feel when we don’t.
Joe and I are staying across the river from the Convention Center. It requires coordinating with the train schedule. We are actually fortunate that the Max shut down actually added a train to our stop, so that isn’t really a problem, but what is a problem is that I kick myself for not insisting that I be closer. I should’ve made a better decision. When I made the original reservation I was closer but I couldn’t get the extra days that I needed. But I could’ve moved. And I chose not to. So now – I scream at myself: FAIL. And the funny part is, it really hasn’t been that bad. But my natural impulse is to focus on the FAIL.
All of this makes me realize that I am not allowing room for the spirit to work within the FAILS and create SUCCESS.
Seeing so many friends I haven’t seen in a long time. SUCCESS. So many new friends that I have met. SUCCESS. Ribbon cutting service that I just made it to and then got to speak and cut the ribbon. (Who knew?) SUCCESS. Beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures. SUCCESS.
This morning I had the opportunity to address the seminarians that are here for a class and to just absorb General Conference. It was a really neat experience to talk with them about General Conference. It made me realize how much I know (SUCCESS!) And then I had the frustrating experience of dealing with the parliamentary nightmare that is passing our rules. We are trying to pass Rule 44 and it is frustrating that so many people equate the rule with the legislation that the rule might be used for at this Conference. It’s been explained over and over. But people don’t listen. And that’s frustrating.
So tomorrow we will know the SUCCESS or FAIL of the proposal. No matter what – it has been suggested and discussed. So I guess that is SUCCESS.
I have to remind myself that success and failure in my terms, may not be the success and failure God sees. May we now see all the things that go right.
60° Mostly Sunny
777 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR, United States