Thursday, October 28, 2010

3-preachers in on a Monday-afternoon

If you, like me, grew up spending several days a week in church services, you are undoubtedly familiar with a few ways to pass the time when things get...less than...engaging. No, I'm not accusing you of not paying attention, but you know there was a sermon or two that found only fallow imagination instead of fertile ground.  Especially when you're a kid.  I mean, after 3 regular services a week, revival, camp meeting, youth choir trips, etc.  I'm just saying, it happens.  Especially when you're as focus-challenged as I am.

You've got your standard pass-times.  Talking to your friends or passing notes is guaranteed to get you grounded or worse.  Counting ceiling tiles is always an option, but once you passed fourth grade you could just multiply the length by the width and that was a bust.  Plus, if you've counted them once, it's pointless. With the right preacher, you can count verbal fillers ("uh", "uhuh", etc.)  You could count grammatical errors (personal favorites are misuse of "...and I", non-words like "irregardless" and for extra credit you can play bingo), but that tends to make one irritable.  When you're coming off of 2-week revival, and you find yourself in a "fellowship meeting" three preachers in on a Monday (after a marathon Sunday), when your ADHD has reached a fever pitch and every nerve ending in your body screams for tactile response, counting games just aren't going to cut it.  We all know that "fellowship meeting" is code-speak for "preacher preach-off with casseroles afterwards".  You've got to have something to help pull you through without incurring parental wrath.

Now, I'm not claiming divine inspiration.  I'll let you judge for yourself, but I submit for your consideration the homilytype (all rights reserved).  While in grade school, learning the basics of word processing as well as how to type, I arrived at the homilytype--an answer for my need to disengage my restless mind and stimulus-deprived fingers.  The basic idea is simple enough: type everything the preacher says on an imaginary (QWERTY) keyboard. Obviously, it's tough to type that fast; so, there's a built in challenge to the game, but there are also necessarily rules so your OCD doesn't kill you.  I mean, what if you make a typing mistake?  You can't just leave it hanging in mid air; nor can you really mouse or otherwise navigate to the error to correct it.  So, rule 1 is, you can hit (imaginary) delete a discrete number of times (say 4), but you may not skip (no arrow keys). This requires that you mentally keep your place.  Or for really bad errors (say you lost track of whether or not you hit a 'r' or a 't' or how far back the mistake was), you can hold (imaginary) delete down for 2 seconds, and homilytype deletes the entire under-construction sentence (line).  Voila!  Jack up the sentence too bad, and you just hold down (imaginary) delete.  Rule 2 is, you can only correct a single sentence.  (I found it got too hard to keep track of multiple sentences, and if I tried I'd lose synch with the preacher.)  In such a manner you can arrive at a pretty decent imaginary transcript by the end.

I've heard thousands of sermons--many of them good, and I'm thankful for having had the opportunity to learn under some great ministers.  But I must confess that there were more than a few times that I had to resort to the homilytype just to keep from getting grounded for the remainder of puberty.  It served me well over those years.  How did you deal?

1 comment:

Pastor Marrell said...

LOL, I've got to share this with some folks! Awesome :)