Last night I found myself pondering the lesson of the weekend, which seems to have been adult peer pressure.
The church we attend and the one that my wife is a member of has been growing by leaps and bounds. At the sermon on Sunday, the pastor joked that they were no longer accepting any more members with children. He was tired of tripping over them. Being a member of a young, growing church has its pros and cons. There is energy and excitement, but there is also cost. The church is looking to expand its facilities, so of course they want financial commitments from the members.
After the sermon the ushers passed out cards to the congregation and everyone was asked to fill in their financial commitment and then walk to the front of the church where they could place the card into a basket in front of the altar, "as a public sign of their ongoing support to the church." I really like the new church, but this was just not cool. The whole scene was designed to pressure people. Immediately my dander came up and I did nothing. It could have been worse of course. The pastor could have asked for money right then, instead of a commitment, but I still did not appreciate the scene.
Around the neighborhood, everybody (and I mean everybody) has blown their leaves to the curb. Our city offers leaf pickup as a free service. A giant vacuum truck comes around and sucks up the leaves from the curb. Its another perk of our high property taxes. I was the only holdout. There is one other neighbor who has a bigger lot than us, but he is Joe, owner of the equipment rental place and he has the coolest gadget for blowing leaves. It's a wheeled leaf blower that makes blowing leaves little more work than mowing the yard.
In any case, I had no desire to rake my leaves. I figured it provides good fertilizer for the lawn and I have more important things to do with my time. But then on the way to church, I saw that the neighbor's grandson was itching to use grandpa's leaf blower, so he and grandpa were kindly clearing our twenty foot wide section of land between our driveway and his property line. He had already cleared his leaves out the week before. I gave him the thumbs up, so he knew I wasn't bent out of shape about him "trespassing".
But when we got home, some of the lawn was free of leaves but most of it was not. It looked half done, so Ms. Huis and I took out the girls and finished raking the worst parts of the lawn. Which goes to show that I'm certainly susceptible to the more subtle forms of peer pressure.