You know the saying, "waiting with baited breath?" OK, except for the spelling of "baited"... Here's the thing - who knows the word "bated"? Why would anyone say, "waiting with bated breath"?
"Bated" isn't a word, but if the correct word is "baited", then what would breath be baited with? Chum? One poet (?) had a little fun with the idea of "baited breath". Geoffrey Taylor, in his little poem Cruel, Clever Cat, 1933, used the confusion over the word to good comic effect:
Sally, having swallowed cheese
Directs down holes the scented breeze
Enticing thus with baited breath
Nice mice to an untimely death.
Anyway, my point, such as it is, is that we are waiting with bated breath to see what the BOT has done with the deacons task force. [Bated is short for "abated", which means suppressed by some physical or emotional sensation. Thank Shakespeare for the phrase.]
Are you eager to know the reporting deadline? Are you even more eager to know who is on the task force? I am! Did the BOT amplify the instructions to the task force in any way? We'll see.
Here's my real point - we don't need to wait; we can get to work. Deacons can do their work in ways that will help the task force to rethink the office! Deacons can discover new ways to fill their role. They can experiment with new ways to work. They can open up new ways to imagine what deacons do in the new millenium! And then we can tell our stories - to the task force!
Well, we'll find out about the BOT's decision soon enough. We'll hear the report of the task force soon enough. Meanwhile, we can all help think and pray and explore - and model new exciting dimensions of being a deacon that we'll discover as we engage with our congregations and our communities. Let's see if the task force can catch up with the deacons!