When the Pastor made his usual Friday morning call to give me the title so that I could finish printing the bulletin, I laughed at him and asked if I had inspired it. He didn’t answer except to say that maybe I could listen to the sermon when we put it on YouTube, something new that we’ve been doing lately. I was so glad I got to hear parts of it, because he has an inherent gift of connecting the lessons from the bible that normally can put me in the off zone, with the everyday world we live in now and, for me, and those of this media focused world, somehow makes some sense. Also, I note, I am not a member of this church and I’ve only actually seen him on a Sunday preach once.
Even funnier is the relationship between he and I that has evolved as well. It didn’t start out that way, there were things that annoyed me greatly (and I’m certain he as well, but no confrontation there, and glad for it, as you will read on). But as I grew and asked myself what I could do to change how I felt about whatever it was that annoyed me, eventually the things stopped bothering me and I was able to see him as the warm hearted caring man of God that he is and good human being who like all of us, is flawed. There’s no shame in that. When I started the job, I was still evolving and making changes in my life that were beyond what I’d ever done, leading up to running a marathon, forming real friendships, etc. Most of my adult life I wasn’t confident enough to be myself and therefore didn’t garner the respect I’d have long past been given by employers, or the promotions and raises that would have came from it had I been the me I am and make no excuses for it. To own and be proud of me, all of it -bad, good, geeky and great. Happily today I can be completely the weird me I am with him and everyone, and yet boldly can say I consider him a very close friend, co-worker and fellow geek TV lover (though he’s not into reality. That will change too, at least when its my season on Survivor, a goal if you didn’t know). The skills I possess, there even before I knew myself, that much more valuable to those around me, because I have a lot of them. But my lack of confidence hid the leader in me, that I am today and am highly respected for, and others not as skilled in seeing past human flaws, judged me only as their limited minds can. By who I projected myself to be.
I think now that daily, Pastor and I inspire each other, without even trying, so I don’t think he’ll mind me borrowing his title.
His sermon was on (and I didn’t finish listening because lately my time is so wrapped in the work I’m doing in this world it just isn’t enough) what I gathered was being confident enough to confront people and situations because it is the loving thing to do, rather than to avoid confrontation and hope it goes away. He himself, since I met him, has had that problem. He wouldn’t confront people. He avoided confrontation. We talked about that for a bit today, and he said its usually a trait of a child of an alcoholic. I enlightened him by saying though I’m sure his Pastoral education taught him well, I think the psychological community still has learning, because even though his parents weren’t alcoholics, there was disfunction for him and this was his reaction. Every derailment in our life stems from childhood dysfunction, but everyone deals with it differently and reacts in whatever way they find works. His being non-confrontational.
At first I used his non-confrontational personality to my advantage at times I knew he wouldn’t bite back, but as the years went on and the problems arose in his world- he sought and took my advice at times he’d normally be frozen with his non-confrontational coping mechanisms. It inevitably changed me and how I dealt with him, because I am his assistant, and need to make sure my charge is the best that he can be. He has so many people depending and in need of the gifts he sometimes questions giving. Even if I have to confront him, and make him feel awkward. Remarkably though, the messages I try hard to sutley send to him seems to resonate and he continues to change and grow like myself and I too grow as a result of that.
Confronting people for some is very hard. It is so much easier to wait and hope it goes away. But if we’re ever going to get better, if we do not say to those that need to hear the very truth, we are doing them a disservice. When you put it all in perspective, whatever it is you may not be able to face, ask yourself, what’s the worst that can happen, and really, will it just end the world as you know it? If you think about that and apply it to whatever confrontational situation your in, 9 times out of 10 it looks a little different after that. We’re not really afraid of what will happen. Getting told no, or not hearing the answer you want will only leave you exactly where you were. So how bad is that?
But confronting– people, yourself, a problem, etc. can also make great changes occur. Its courage, its “living outside your comfort zone” its so many things with other names. Doing all those things only betters a person, and maybe another and maybe, no, not maybe- then your entire world. A phrase I used today, in my 9/11 tribute post, was about finding hope in the rubble. The greatest changes in your life come from the worst situations. But you have to take the leap and confront. If you stay where you are, for fear of the worst, or the “confrontation” you cannot do, you won’t be plagued with awkwardness, you won’t be uncomfortable and you won’t ever be all you can be. You’ll just be sitting there stagnant and complain how bad your life is. What a life that is, huh?
You can run as fast as the fastest man on earth and still you will not find happiness. You can achieve the highest levels of education, you can get the best job. But unless you can be real, be confident and not afraid of confrontation, you’ll never discover how wonderful your life and those you dare to confront with truth can be. You’ll never feel the amazing sunshine that hits those with all those “inspirational messages” that we can sometimes scoff at, or never really get.
Whether or not they listen, you can sleep knowing you tried, and maybe even planted a seed. Sometimes the seeds will take, and sometimes you’ve got to keep planting them and hope, like what inevitably is happening to my Pastor and all those around me, and me, it will grow and become beautiful in a way you cannot even imagine.
Consider yourself very lucky if someone dares to give you a taste of confrontation. You might be worth it, and you might be very loved. I hope dearly it helps you face your own fear of it.
I invite you whatever you believe (and I’m in no way trying to push God with my blog, though he is what is leading me now to all of this I know) to listen to his sermon as I’ve offered the link below. He’d sure love to see some views and it would help build his confidence even more. I do believe he can also change the world here in our galaxy and beyond.
Have a great night, love, encourage and uplift always,