John Corson's Blog


Thursday, October 22, 2020

My dad had two statements he often made when pressed for answers to questions that annoyed him. Like those times when he would fix something that I had trouble trying to fix myself and I would ask: "How did you do that? I tried several times and couldn't." One of his answers would be: "It's science and skill over ignorance and superstition. This was his way of saying "I have done this so many times I can fix it with my eyes closed. You, on the other hand, need experience so watch me from now on." Being 39 years older than me and being a jack of all trades made his response particularly true.

The other statement was the one he used when he was particularly annoyed at the person asking about his expertise and how he was able to correctly do the job nobody else could do. He would say: "It's mind over matter. I don't mind and you don't matter." This line usually caused the hearer to scratch his head in wonder and a couple of seconds later, once they caught on to what he meant, changed their facial features from wonder to scorn. He doesn't mind, and I don't matter?!?!

Having used that line a few times myself (and never in the presence of one of my church members) I know exactly about those things which can easily annoy any individual who is tired of trifling little things; just plain annoyed at the drama and the aggravation that people do just because that is their nature.

Being a pastor, as in the case of every pastor who has accepted God's call to minister to a local church, annoyance is one of the job descriptions. We get annoyed when someone drops the ball, and an important ministry doesn't get finished. We get annoyed when one church member blames another for a seemingly insignificant event or a statement that does not mean a thing and we have to run interference. We get annoyed if the designated soloist doesn't show up for the service and fails to call ahead to let you know she is sick. We get annoyed when we are on vacation. across the country or even out of the country, and are called back to perform a funeral service, losing the vacation and the money already spent on it in non-refundable fashion and spending more money to book at quick flight back. Annoyances are always happening. But the biggest annoyance are the things that are totally out of your control and yet you have to shoulder all the blame; like a special service or program that doesn't go well or is not well received; or, when goals are not met and that is due to the lack of participation from others.

Pastors cannot just sit back and say, "I don't mind and they don't matter." Besides, when things do not go well in church, we do mind. We mind so much that we fret over each failure and each thing that doesn't go the way we planned it or know it should.

But my dad was on to something with his "I don't mind and you don't matter" statement. What he was trying to say is that he would not allow himself to be suckered into anything that could be considered "small stuff." He was one to have rarely "sweated the small stuff." He never let things worry him into a frenzy and tie his stomach into knots. Mind over matter. He is not going to mind the silly things for those silly things did not matter.

Oh sure, as a pastor if someone hurts, is down, is angry, drops the ball, is indifferent, and so forth, it does matter to someone. If you are in pain it does affect you and therefore it matters to you. But as a pastor, I can't let it get me down. To dwell on negative things, or negativity itself, is a drag. I am constantly asking myself how can I rise above the small stuff? How can I not dwell on the things that are really beyond my control? And how can I not let the hurtful or negativity of others affect me in such a way that I lose sleep over them?

In other words, how can I softly, yet gently say, my life is conducted on the principle of Mind over Matter? That part sounds okay, but when you finish dad's adage: "I don't mind and you don't matter" I must stop myself before adding that part, so I would not be perceived as spiteful.

Here is what I have had to do many, many times over. I go to my office and utter that phrase, behind closed doors and only to myself, of course. Or I get in my car and say it, go home and say it, or take a walk in the woods and shout it!

People annoy you. Situations that do not pan out like you plan it annoy you. Someone singing off key next to you annoys you. It is a fact of life and you must rise above it. Just don't let it "matter." Don't let what people do to you "matter" (unless, of course, they threaten you with a knife or baseball bat). Don't sweat the small stuff. If you do, you will get an ulcer or two.

By the way, the number one non-cancer illness that affects pastors is a bleeding ulcer. To my church members, if it seems like I do not care about what is bothering you, please understand, one of us has to be on an even keel to deal with what is bothering you. You aren't. Otherwise, you would not have the bother. I do care! But I refuse to let my stomach get tied into knots over things I have no control over. I have no control over your situation, but if I remain on a Mind over Matter mentality, I can best serve and help you.

On a like note: Today, Janice, my wife, asked me to drive more slowly in a highway work zone, that she did not want me to have to pay a higher fine for going too fast. I looked at my speedometer, saw I was doing only 3 or 4 miles over the work zone limit and, knowing that cops these days are too undermanned to give speeding tickets, I ignored her. She asked me why I don't listen to her. I said: "well, it's mind over matter. I don't mind and you don't matter."

I took the worse beating of my life.

I will be traveling many miles the next three days, so I won't be posting a blog during this time. I hope to throw one your way Sunday or Monday at the latest. Have a great weekend.


Blogs are about the blogger. It's as if he or she merely toots their own horns about the things they do, say and love.

My life is boring. I read, I watch Glenn Beck and Mark Levin. I listen to Andrew Wilkow. I engage in some conversation with those who are willing to listen (they being masochistic and enjoy killing themselves with my banter).

I plan on just laying out the things that bother me and the things I love. Nothing in-between. I hope you find whatever I put here amusing.

Here are the Past Rants:

Oct 3 - Starting a blog

Oct 4 - No Sleep & Church

Oct 5 - This Year Sucks

Oct 6 - A Tuesday Muse

Oct 7 - More About Reggie

Oct 8 - I Need Sleep

Oct 9 - On Heaven

Oct 10 - Pelosi Ticks Me Off

Oct 11 - Covid and WOKE

Oct 12 - Indegenous Peoples' Day

No Oct 13th blog!
I took the day off

Oct 14 - Hi! I'm Jesse Stone

Oct 15 - Everything is Political

Oct 16 - Autumn & I'm Happy

Oct 17 - Just Relaxing

Oct 18 - Autumn Day & Sunday

Oct 19 - The Face of Evil

Oct 20 - Life Is ...

Oct 21 - How's The Weather?

Oct 22 - Mind Over Matter

Traveling for a couple of days. Returning on the 25th or 26th. Stay tuned