Saturday, April 2, 2011

Head, Heart, and the Balance Between the Two

General update: When I talked to Mac last Saturday, he pointed out that both Matt and I are fairly new to the church (within the past five years, which is new for a 230-year-old church) and he wasn't sure that dynamic was a good idea for a six-million-dollar campaign. I agreed, so I told Matt to find someone else, and he picked someone who I think is PERFECT and a much better choice than me. So, that's that. I will, however, be helping with the campaign.

During my CPE residency, one of my biggest self-realizations was how my self-confidence (or lack thereof) affects my concept of my own authority and the way I relate to others, especially those I view as being in positions of authority. In other words, I have trouble seeing myself as an authority figure and tend to have trouble "pushing back", and sometimes even just being myself, with people who I view as authority figures. In the hospital setting, I've gotten over this to a good extent, and can now "push back" with nurses and even doctors when necessary. However, I still run into this issue in other areas of my I realized last week.

Last Wednesday, I met with Mac in his office. I had asked to meet so he could give me feedback on the sermon I preached on Ash Wednesday. I did get that (he basically thought it was fine, called it "tight", and said he had received a lot of positive comments on it), but we spent at least an hour talking about other things. He asked for my impressions of the church so far, and then asked me if I had any questions...particularly about the church or even about him. Golden opportunity, because I did/still do have questions. And...I sort of froze. Instead of asking the insightful questions that have been in my mind (like how he first received a call to ministry, how he prepares these amazingly creative sermons and worship services, or even mundane stuff like if he has any pets or what he does on his day off, and mentioning some of my pet peeves about the church), I...honestly don't even remember what I asked him, except for one: what his wife does for a living. Way to go, Patti. Part of what happened stemmed from my having prepared myself to receive sermon feedback, and not much else. Another part of it stemmed from the fact that (as I realized later) even though Mac generously invited me into a collegial moment and was treating me as an equal, I couldn't see myself in that light, and was therefore giving myself an internal inferiority complex.

My heart was touched and gratified that Mac was willing to be so collegial with me, but my head was telling me something else entirely...that I wasn't worthy, that any questions I asked would be stupid, and who knows what else my subconscious was thinking. Sort of silly, but it stems from my self-confidence being somewhere in the basement due to my SJ experience. I have trouble stating my gifts for parish ministry because I still have trouble believing that I am, indeed, called to be a pastor.

Keep in mind that this is all "me", and has nothing to do with Mac. He's been great, and I am very thankful that God sent me to this church and put him in my life. Of course he's not perfect (I threatened to beat him with a wet noodle last week when he took several days to respond to a voice mail, and his sermons run too long, and...), but overall, he's pretty awesome. I just need to be more confident about who God created me to be, confident about the gifts God has given me, and be myself in my conversations with Mac.

I hope all of that made sense.

1 comment:

Terri said...

You may appreciate this video...take the time to watch the entire thing, when it's quite and you can pay attention....

(and, don't be too hard on yourself...'k?)