Thursday, February 17, 2011

In a Funk

Blessed and in a funk.
I've been in a funk lately.  Most likely it's because of something that happened last week.  You can read about it in a post here.

I'm good at covering it up.  But internally there's a lot going on. 

I've been reminded of what Rob Bell (for more on him, go here) said at a conference I attended last October.  He talked about how you can have 99 positive things said about you and 1 critical comment and it's the critical comment that you remember. 


The church I serve has grown in the 7 months I've been there.

I have been very encouraged by the poeple at the church I serve.

I have been supported by my DS on the district level.

I feel honored to be a part of a forum on leadership led by the Bishop of the conference.

Other pastors in the area have been supportive and encouraging and recognze gifts for ministry in me.

So why is it that I can't shake some of the comments made by a group of people that don't know me yet have power over me because they represent the religous institution in which I'm a part of?

Rob Bell said it's not so much that one critical comment that gets him.  It's the head games that that one critical comments creates internally.

It's easy to start wondering if I should believe that critical comment.  And if it's something true, then what does that mean?

The head games go something like this: If I resent the person that said the critical comment and have trouble forgiving that person, is that a sign of immature faith?  If so, should I even be a pastor?  If I can't forgive how can I teach forgiveness.

Then there's the issue of what other people think about me.  If I couldn't even pass the Board of Ordained ministry, obviously others think I'm a failure.  If others think I'm a failure, will they follow my leadership?

These head games lead to all sorts of places. 

Some of those places are good.  Self reflection is good and can lead to some hard truths that need to be known and dealt with. 

However, the head games can also lead to dark places.  And it's important to guard against the evil one who would use that one critical comment to bring me bitterness, fear, anxiety and depression.

I know this funk will not last.  And I know my God will get me through it.  I know I must persevere and press on and realize that this set back is temporary.

One thing this situation has done is given me a refreshing view of my family.  My wife doesn't love me any less because I didn't pass.  My daughters don't care at their age.  They wouldn't have cared if I passed (even though we would've celebrated, which they would've enjoyed).  They don't care about the size of the church I serve.  All they care about is spending time with me and giving and receiving love.

I am blessed. 

2 comments:

Jim said...

I am so sorry to hear this, and I've been away from blogs I follow for a while so I'm sorry I'm late to comment, but I do anyway.

I did not pass on my first time through the commissioning process. I didn't pass the Call and Discipline life part. I had to go back to seminary, with all my friends who just went through their processes and tell them I did not pass. I passed what I was suppose to know (theology). I passed what I was suppose to do (preaching). But I didn't pass who I was. It hurt and it cut deep.

People always wanted to say, "it is just a year, don't worry it will go by quickly and it will only be a blip on the screen." "God has a plan, don't worry." Both of those things, and more, I did not want to hear. It sucked. It $*!@#(^) sucked! And I was comforted more by the people who let it suck.

My prayer for you is that as it sucks people will name that and just let it be. All the other stuff is true and now, 10 years later it does feel like a blip, but even now it still sucks.

I stand with you in this time, not to wash it away or to try to make you feel better. I stand with you in the midst of the sucking because that is where Christ is as well.

Peace be with you.

Rich Tuttle said...

Jim,
Awesome comment...sitting shiva in a blog...love it. Thanks for sitting with me in the suckiness.

I'm still angry. I do understand why they didn't pass me in Call and Disciplined Life, I didn't have good filters.

But I do not understand why I didn't pass in Proclamation and Discipleship.

Yeah, people have good intentions, but sometimes what they say is just not what you want to hear.

Thanks for NOT saying those things to me!