PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE
There is an art to learning what you can do and trying to do it well. The tendency, however, is to put our hands in as many projects as we can, becoming a Jack of all trades, master of none. It’s taken me a while to figure this out.
When I was young, I used to think I could do it all. You know, like that lady on TV who sang, “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan….” Or, Helen Reddy who brought us, “I am woman, hear me roar!” In that same song she sings, “I am strong! I am invincible!”
I thought I was. But then, life happened.
One of the nicest things we can do for ourselves is to find out what we like, what we’re good at, and stick with that. It’s taken me a while to appreciate that my sandbox is just right for me, while yours is just right for you. If you and I can figure this out, we will be amazed at the power behind our best selves. We will not even try to get into another’s sandbox.
Getting older has its advantages. Somewhere between “I can do it all,” and “Just let me sit in this lounge chair and put up my feet,” we begin to slow down and realize the fallacy of that kind of thinking. We never could do it all, even when we were young. But mix in a strong amount of youthful pride along with a large amount of an over-exaggerated ego, and we often find ourselves jumping out of our sandbox of comfort and trying to win the race the other sandboxes offer.
This understanding can be of great help when the nominations committee in our church begins to place church members on various committees at the beginning of a new year. For instance, if you are asked to be on the altar flower committee and you have never made a floral arrangement in your life, this is not the committee for you. Stay in your sandbox and do what you do best.
Jumping in and out of sandboxes is a futile effort. We end up discouraged and with lower self- esteem because we simply cannot do it all.
I have worn my sandbox out with responsibilities because it is hard for me to say NO. If good really is the enemy of the best, as Oswald Chambers says, then my best was being worn out by my good, driven into oblivion before taking its first breath.
Even grown-ups need reminders not to go where we shouldn’t.
And with that, I must run. My comfortable lounge chair with the fantastic foot rest is calling my name.
And I am very comfortable in my own sandbox.
The Rev. B.J. Funk is associate pastor of Central UMC in Fitzgerald. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.