Posted by: watchman | July 9, 2009

The Willies

Do churches get the Willies?Don'tPanic

You know what the willies are, don’t you? Here’s a definition:

noun

    A state of nervous restlessness or agitation: fidget (often used in plural), jitter (used in plural), jump (used in plural), shiver1 (used in plural), tremble (often used in plural). Informalall-overs, shake (used in plural). Slangheebie-jeebies, jim-jams.

Today, I was helping a guy replace insulation in a crawl space. I had about 3 foot of clearance between the dirt floor and the floor of the house above. The space was filled with rodents, insects and sundry unmentionables.

Now, I am not claustrophobic, and I do not fear rodents. However, from time to time, I would suddenly get the strangest thoughts. I would feel things crawling on me or get a sudden creepy feeling and have crawl out into the open air. After a few moments, my sanity would return and I would be able to get back to work. As I crawled back into the hole, I would berate myself for giving into irrational fear.

The Willies are those half-crazed moments when fear and panic get the best of us. They are the heebie jeebies, the shivers. Sometimes they make us do crazy things. For instance, once I thought I felt a mouse crawling up my pant leg today and started shaking my leg and batting at it violently. If you would have seen me, you would have been convinced that I was out of my mind, and maybe I was.

What happens when churches give in to irrational fears? What behaviors are displayed when change or transition occurs? Are such behaviors a result of inherent evil, or are they just a case of the willies?

Local Church Leadership Mtg.

Local Church Leadership Mtg.

I’ve been pretty convinced that the institutional church’s tendency to run people over has been a systemic resistance to the good of change. But, now I am starting to wonder if we have not just been caught in the middle of a headlong, panicked stampede. The great Herd can’t contain themselves when they see change  ahead. So, they run like crazed maniacs and don’t care who gets in their way.

I hope this is the case. Crazed fits of irrational hysteria seem much better than systemic evil.

What do you think? Your church got the willies?

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Responses

  1. D’you realise that ‘willies’ means something rather different in the British vernacular? I’ll think about your post more seriously just as soon as I stopped sniggering…

  2. Marika, I demand that you let us in on the joke.

  3. Nevermind. I just looked it up! HA!

    You should ask around: “Does your church have a willy?”

    HA!

    I apologize if I made you stumble, or lust in your heart, Marika. 😛

  4. ….only you Corey….now I know what a willie is and a wab ” …I def . am gettin educated here…LOL


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