Tuesday, November 05, 2013

I am not the Messiah...

For those of you wondering about the strange title of this post, please do not be alarmed, it is for my benefit not a shock announcement to anyone else.

I was recently involved in the staging of an evangelistic event, but that wasn't my intention. No, my intention was to be the sole creator of this event, the man who had made it all possible, the one who had brought the good times to town! I didn't say this out loud; I didn't even realise it myself.

The problem with this plan was that owing to recent eye issues the was always a small chance that I would be unable to attend due to a hospital visit. As the time grew nearer it was more like 50-50 whether I could make it or not and then, thanks to a rearranged operation date, it became clear to everyone that I would be in no condition to organise and run an event. Everyone, that is, except me.

Why am I telling you this you might wonder? Because I feel like I've learned (or relearned) an important lesson. I was that desperate to be the one who was responsible for this happening that in the end I put the whole thing at risk of not happening at all. Then, I was convinced that it would fail. Not because of my failure in planning, but because I wasn't there to make it happen. By wanting to be the one who made it happen, I was engineering a situation whereby I was the only one who could make it happen! 

You aren't the only person who can make it happen.

In the end some very willing, kind and forgiving people stepped in and managed to salvage a good event out of the mess I had created. The thing is, what will stop me doing it again?

This started out as a good idea, from wanting the event to happen, as do lots of things. But we are often all too quick to make ourselves far more vital to proceedings than necessary. I used to joke that as the only person in the church who knew how to pack the storeroom I was making myself invaluable to the church. As it turned out, I was just setting up everyone else with a massive job to try and sort out when I wasn't there to do it. Either that or there was in fact no need for me to be at the centre of it happening every week because actually it's packing a cupboard, how hard can it be?

In short, I hope this post will serve as a warning and a remnder, to both you and myself, that when we make ourselves integral to something, or just think we are, we are going down a dangerous road. The event went perfectly well in my absense. The difficulties there were, were of my own creating. And as Chris Green, one of my lecturers at Oak Hill, often says "There is only one position in the church that it vital for it to function, that role is the messiah and the position is taken".

I am not the messiah, the church will continue perfectly well without me.

P.S. For those of you who know the details of this, I didn't make much attempt to disguise them, but felt they were not necessary. Please ignore them, save for reminding me of this important lesson in the future!