Sometimes these posts come quickly as if my brain has suddenly gone into download mode – I’ve been working on this one since April 2010.
After 7 months I hope it’s well matured.
In the spring Sue and I, along with some friends, went on a quiet day at Scargill House. This lovely place of retreat is near to the picturesque Yorkshire Dales village of Kettlewell.
Sometimes we do quiet days on our own, but on other occasions it’s good to join a lead quiet day where someone brings thoughts and reflections for the rest of us to contemplate. This time we were very privileged to have Adrian and Bridget Plass leading.
One of the thoughts from the day has been with me since that points. It was a challenge to be obedient:
Are you willing to be obedient by crossing the chasm of inadequacy because that’s where adventure lies.
I have a strong urge to be in control of situations and for people to think the best of me. If I feel inadequate in a situations I’m very uncomfortable, part of my drivenness is a need to avoid situations where I feel inadequate.
At the same time I have, for years, had a sense that God has been calling me to do some public speaking. Something that made me feel thoroughly inadequate. As you might imagine I wasn’t exactly pursuing this calling with much vigour.
Thankfully, God is patient.
I do a reasonable amount of presenting with my job, but this isn’t public speaking. Presenting is different, because over the years I have made sure that I am the expert in any situation where I might be speaking. There’s no chance of me feeling inadequate – a make sure of it. The problem for me with public speaking, particularly in a church context, is that there’s always someone who is more expert than you are.
The very thought of the lack of control required to speak in public made me nervous.
Thankfully, God is a healer.
The challenge to “cross the chasm” came within the context of being the people that God has made us to be, more specifically, for Graham to be the person God has made him to be.
One of my roles at church is to help lead a ministry called Celebrate Recovery. The tagline for Celebrate Recovery is to find freedom from life’s hurt, hang-ups and habits. Starting with my deep seated need for people to always think the best of me I’ve been on a journey of healing. This hasn’t been a quick journey, actually, I suppose it’s taken nearly three years to get me to this point. It’s been a journey of healing; being healed to be more like the person that God made me to be.
So, following the quiet day I took the first step across the chasm and volunteered to be involved in a series of talks about Life’s Healing Choices which is based on the Celebrate Recovery material.
The second step concluded this Sunday when I finished the second of two public speaking engagements.
Thankfully, God is faithful.
I can’t say I wasn’t nervous, but I can say that I wasn’t crippled with nerves.
I can’t say that I didn’t over worry the talks and have some moments when I wondered what on earth I was doing, but I can say that I saw it through.
I can’t even say that I’ve crossed this particular chasm.
Thankfully, God is love and grace.
because that’s where adventure lies.