Saturday, May 09, 2009

Being me

Most of the time I am OK with who I am. I mean, I feel like I’m a good dad, learning to be a good pastor, and I have some  good ideas about life and ministry. But sometimes when I am around people who are not like me, who think deeper thoughts and have more organized visions for life and ministry, I begin to wonder again if I have what it takes.

For example, the other week a local church told me about their new tutoring program that they were launching, complete with a leadership team of 12, a partnership with their neighborhood school, and a way to track the academic progress of their kids. I laughed and thought about how we started our program by handing out flyers at bust stops in my neighborhood, but behind that laugh was a sense of feeling like I didn’t do the program “right” or as well from the start. And even though our program currently has 50 kids and over 100 volunteers, a part of me still describes it internally as “rinky dink.”

Or riding up to an IV event recently, I was in the car with two extroverts, and I made a comment about needing time and pace to myself, and I realized, “I don’t want to be like that. I want to be the person who likes to be around people all the time.” Or sitting in a discussion with three friends who love to think deeply about theology, and thinking, “Man, the things I think about spiritually seem so simple.”

But my point in this post is not to whine about what I’m not or for people to tell me how great I am. It’s to address the lie that says who I am is not OK. The Lord has made me and gifted me to bring something to the table that others don’t and vice versa. Learning to abide in Christ, to trust Him as my life and my source frees me from having to be anything but who I am. Preoccupation with myself takes me away from preoccupation with Jesus, and for me, that is a quick road to a life that becomes all about me, which I have found to be no life at all.


Robert Howe said...

Marshall, I really enjoy learning from you, and I'm glad we get to be together at Rockbridge this week. Thanks for continually sharing out of who you are in Christ.

MarySuz said...

Thanks for saying this, Marshall. I've felt a lot of those same things this week at rockrbridge and at regionals in december.

Anonymous said...

amen, amen! I've been serving at this great church at school and am surrounded by great God-loving people, but it's been so easy to compare/contrast (in a self-deprecating and self-righteous way)...learning to just be "me" too :)

And i just caught up with the recent posts!... good stuff, glad ur still finding time to write :) Say hi to Diane for me:)