I went for a job interview at a Church that wanted to engage with unchurched young men, the kind I’d been working with for the last few years. They asked things along the lines of; could I connect to them and could I make them Christians? I answered confidently, “Of course. I’ve been reaching young men. These young men will be similar to the young men I’m talking about and I’ll be the same me and I will utilise the same skills”.
I hope you can detect the arrogance that wasn’t really hiding.
It’s about 8 years later, and I’ve been doing work with young people for that entire time. I’d like to think I’m a whole lot better at my job, yet if I was asked the same question I wouldn’t be anywhere near as sure of my answers. Great Right? The arrogant edge has been sanded off. There’s a more humble, gracious, deeper, thoughtful Alan more aware of the complexities and mysteries of Christian work.
Between you, me and the rest of the internet, I miss the arrogant me.
That guy had a plan, that guy had techniques and goals, that guy had the answers – and better than that he knew he had the answers.
Now I know that he didn’t actually have all the answers, but he thought he did. So he did it. He got on with the plan. He launched new programmes, he delegated tasks, he pushed for more from church leadership, he convinced people that he was right, he boldly tried new things.
As I’ve increasingly realised I don’t have all the answers, I am left wondering if I have any answers. I can be so aware of the complexity and the mystery that I just look at that; so aware of my inability to fix that I struggle to even influence.
I miss the confidence that says that I can do something about it, and that I have something positive to offer. That perhaps God had put me here for such a time as this. The courage to try things and see what works rather than not trying anything because I don’t know what will work, too busy pondering if I’m not here for a different time than this.