Friday, March 16, 2012

Time for a change, of course!

        I've spent a lot of time over the last several weeks mulling over some suggestions that I start doing some things that take me a bit out of my comfort zone.  Nothing bad, to be sure.  Indeed, yesterday I came to the conclusion that what I'm sensing is more of a "growing edge" for me.    The overall suggestions--having to do with how the Chaplain's Office is present on campus--are things that I've sort of intuited for a while, and I'm pretty sure I have the resources to carry them out.  But I balk.  Some of my hesitancy is due to the "growing edge" piece (most of us don't like being pushed!).  Some of it is related to my introverted tendencies (believe it or not!).  And some of it probably due a set of learned virtues (like "being unselfish").  The need for some change, however, is pretty clear.  I did, after all, ask for the input
        As I observed above, I am pretty sure I have the resources within me to move forward.  But I frequently fall victim to an internal tendency to hold myself back, and, instead, to encourage others to employ their gifts and talents.  It is that "unselfish" thing!  To look to a different context, I know that many athletes in team sports are encouraged to be unselfish, to share the ball, to recognize that there IS a team to help score, to win.  On the other hand, individual players have been given, and have further developed, certain gifts and skills that have allowed them to play at highly-competitive levels.  And if they keep those gifts and skills so much in check (by being "unselfish"), then they are not playing up to their full potential.  And the team's overall effectiveness is compromised.  In short, selfishness and unselfishness are two sides of the same coin.
        I certainly have been in situations where I've had to be present in a different way, to try different things that don't necessarily come naturally.  And I've had the sense of enjoying both the experience, as well as the outcome.  But those have been somewhat the exception.  The habitual ways of my being in the world claim the upper hand -- this is true for all of us, I think -- and I acquiesce.  We are, as they say, creatures of habit.  Yet some habits breed stagnation, while others promise excitement and life.
        We are all summoned to consider and reconsider paths taken, as well as paths before us.  We are all constantly offered opportunities to make changes.  Sometimes they are life-changing.  Other times they are small, yet significant enough to make a difference.  New habits may be learned that lead to greater things!  I think I've been convinced to play a little more to my strengths -- something I am always encouraging others to do.
       So I suppose it's time to change course.  Time to develop some new habits!  Hard a-starboard!  Let's see what's over there!



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