Friday, January 21, 2011
My pastor embarked on a new series last week titled "That's Life" on the lessons in Ecclesiastes. My first thought was apprehension; Ecclesiastes isn't really a "feel good" inspiring type of book, but his message was wonderful and in my own reading of the text and commentary I discovered I like Ecclesiastes. I love questions and thoughts on the meaning of life. It was a wonderful message that ultimately seemed to be saying that the meaning of life is not in a title (who you are) and not in knowing more, but that true meaning is found in what Jesus did.
A week ago I volunteered to help in the church office. I wasn't sure what that would mean or look like, but I so desire to help out and be valuable.... though I have to admit, there's a part of me that is questioning this. Am I doing it for the right motives? Will I actually find some type of satisfaction in doing this, or is it going to end up meaningless because I'm doing it not for God, but just to be considered valuable?
Today I sat in the office to be brought up to speed on what is expected of me. It was possibly the most demoralizing thing I've done in a long time. I know so little, feel so over my head, and so scared of messing up and making a mistake and doing it wrong. On top of that, there's the nagging despair of knowing that I'd never be chosen to do this job; I'm only a part of it because I am a volunteer and will work for free. I'm a last choice. It is hard for me to get past this. So instead of feeling good and valued, I feel even less so.
I was chatting with a friend of mine who has done ministry and worked in an office before. As a word of caution, he said to me, "you know, they'll take as much as they can get from you. You have to set boundaries because no one will consider your needs and schedule. That's ministry." and it saddened me. Ironically, is "that ministry?" My husband works for a large corporation and he's echoed pretty much the same words to me as well about his corporate job." They'll never tell you to go home. They'll work you as long and as hard as they can." Perhaps ministry and Real LIfe are not altogether different?
I don't feel I'm actually "in ministry" though I guess when I really think about it, isn't every Christian "In ministry" the moment we become a Christ follower? And I waffle between being a volunteer as "noble" thing or if it is a "worthless" thing.... I'm only a volunteer, I'm not all that important. Or am I?
Regardless, I have to admit to being overwhelmed and cautious, knowing that if I look at this as a "job" that will fulfill me I was of course be disappointed. I have a desire to serve, but is it out of a genuine love for God and a passion for His Church, or is it to make me feel good and worthwhile, and will this worsen or better my motives and desire?
Then there's the other part: I hate failure, I hate to disappoint and I know that failure is inevitable. It is so easy to criticize and find all the flaws and mistakes, and I'm usually the one that points out the misspellings and misinformation..... and here I'll be in the place of making those mistakes and having someone like me point them out. And I have to admit, it will kill me. I hate making mistakes.
I want to help. I pride myself in being faithful and I will do this and fight to do it well, but I know that I have bitten off more than I can chew. I don't know photoshop. There really is so much I don't know. I hate answering phones, I have a squeaky 12 year old voice, and I don't want to be representative of the Church office. I don't want that burden. Even when I go to conferences I have a hard time stating where I go to church... because I don't want them to think I'm typical of the type of person that attends my church. I just don't like to mess up. I'm not polished and I don't think on my feet easily. I could go on and on.
Yes, my rambling and unedited thoughts on display for everyone to see. I will take King Solomon's lead and journey into this as an "experiment" but with him as my guide and heeding his advice that without Christ, all this is folly and meaningless. (Vanity of Vanities!) If I can try to keep ministry and service to Christ in the forefront, I think I'll be okay.
Why is it so hard to do though? I can't help but crave the approval of others.
Posted by victoria at 1/21/2011 03:41:00 PM