Just do the deal (Parks and Rec)

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I know we all love lists. And it seems that January is prime list month. "5 easy solutions for..."

"Top 10 ways to cut out..."

I'm a sucker for them. So neat and tidy and accessible. These lists usually don't offer anything new in the way of news--but even old news repackaged can be helpful.

The list category that makes me want to pull out my hair are the ones related to church. Every single week, there is a new list of reasons why some group is leaving church or annoyed with Christians. A list of things we shouldn't say or do. I used to read them and then sort of get depressed. The insight seems obvious that I could feel my body actually going to into slow motion as I work my way through the list--the energy draining out all around me. Really? I think. We need this pointed out to us? Well then, we are screwed.

The other reason these lists are so life-sucking is that they are often fear-based. Don't do or say or be this or all the young people are going to walk out of your church and never look back. Because, let's face it--this is the demographic that we are most afraid of--and afraid of losing.

I'm reading Amy Poehler's book, Yes Please. Once again, the leading lady comics are teaching me how to do my job. (See also: Bossypants) Today, I read about the beginning of Poehler's series Parks and Recreation-and how the initial ratings were crap and the talk around the show's success didn't look good. Here is where she has something to teach me:

"We kept our heads down and did our jobs. We controlled the only thing we could, which was the show. We did the thing. Because remember the talking about the thing isn't the thing. The thing is the thing." (page 253)

I'm ready to be about the thing.