A Lot Can Happen in 75 Minutes! (part 3)

In my last 2 posts, I shared how being open to the Holy Spirit can move one’s class in unexpected directions. Today, I can reveal what happens when one (namely ME!) is NOT open to the movement of the Holy Spirit!

I like to use audiovisuals in my lessons. So, on Monday evening, I planned to show some segments of the DVD Peter and Paul – segments that would bring to life and complement the text we were reading about the early Church. So here’s what happened:

Hitachi X1250 LCD Projector by  Kieron

  • I had spent a good amount of preparation time previewing the DVD and mapping out the various segments I wanted to show.
  • The night before class, I checked my equipment (I show videos through my laptop hooked up to an LCD projector and a couple of portable speakers) to make sure everything was in place. Lo and behold, I realized that I had lost the cable that connects my laptop to the projector! I had inadvertently left it in Milwaukee after my recent presentation there. Now what?
  • I remembered that there is an Office Depot not far from where I work. So on Monday, I drove to work instead of taking the train and, during my lunch break, dashed over to pick up a cable. I even asked one of the workers there if I had the right one and he confirmed it.
  • When I got home that evening, after dinner, I pulled out my equipment to hook things up and – what do you know – it was the wrong cable!
  • Defeated, I started to put away my equipment (speakers, projector, laptop) but then realized that there is an Office Max not far from the parish where I teach…I could go and purchase the right cable!
  • I quickly threw my equipment back together (or so I thought) and dashed to Office Max on my way to  class. I found the correct cable this time and was off and running.
  • I got to class, hooked up the laptop to the projector and, voi·là, the movie was up and running.
  • One problem, though – where was the sound?  I had left my speakers at home!!!
  • Defeated again. Or so I thought. The classroom had a TV with a DVD player! I quickly ran over to figure out how to use that equipment, popped in the DVD and it did indeed work. I had a minute to spare before the kids arrived.
  • When the time came for me to show the DVD segments, it occurred to me that I had mapped out the segments on my laptop, identifying them by the lapsed time…no such meter existed on the DVD player. I showed the first 2 scenes successfully but after that, I could not navigate quickly enough to find the other scenes I had hoped to show.
  • In the end, I would say that this audiovisual presentation was inneffective! I never did get to find the segments that showed Paul courageously preaching the Gospel even in the face of hostility.

Perhaps that Spirit was trying to tell me all along to CAN THE VIDEO!!! However, my stubbornness would not allow me to let go: I had prepared to show a video and doggone it, I was determined to do so! 🙂

Oh well, you win some, you lose some! The lesson? “If at first you don’t succeed, try again, but if you continually don’t succeed, try something else!!!

About Joe Paprocki 2366 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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