Where’s the point in me? (7/22)
I’m motivated by numbers apparently. I’ve been striven by Strava. My distance, time and gradient cycling figures were once stored, charted, shared, and compared. Bravado the winner.
Even without the cycling accident, I was aging. Despite investment of considerable time, effort, and money, I’d now be recording my declining trends and cycling capacity. I’d have to stop sharing and comparing data because I’d be no better than average.
Alternatively, I could continue to enjoy a cycle ride for the scenery and fun? Is that where I started?
I still like numbers and Strava. I need to reprioritise my values.
Post cycling accident my self-worth is at an all-time low. I even have data to show that many capacities, beyond cycling, are significantly less than they were. Data from the NHS, not Strava.
Many of my disabilities won’t improve, even with determination. Significant brain morbidity has resulted in the requirement of cognitive reserve.
I like to pretend everything is alright, because when everyone thinks you’re fine, you forget for a while that you’re not. Reputation is what people think of you, character is what you are.
I recently told a church leader that, “I am not a good fish to catch. I now have no salary and limited capacity.” Where do I fit in? The problem is me not you.
Have my lived-out values moved from where they should be?
Is my use of time and energy pleasing to God? Do I need to remember why and where my faith journey started? It’s all too easy to try to fit in and look good at church by spending time and resource on…
- religious language
- reciting learned liturgy
- clothing (Logo’d T-Shirts to Mitre)
- badges and jewellery
- knowledge and accreditations
- church role labels
- distant mission events
- church and conference attendance
- size of financial contributions
- professionalism of presentation
- fliers, websites, and success stories
- writing a strategic FAKEplan
(FAKE: Forsaking –Already Know Everything)
Are these activities exemplified by Jesus? Are they a means to achieve something of value, or a vain attempt to look good and fit in.
Organisations often focus on the quality of their action plans, paperwork, finance, and presentation, whilst forgetting their proclaimed purpose and people entirely.
Does church focus on relationship with God for all, or get lost behind worldly attributes? “We don’t need another pro. So what if we do it as well as the world, if they just see another show.” (The Proof Don Fransisco)
Some of the most valuable things are not objectively measurable. Christians should not have a Strava style approach to Holiness or evangelism.
How many converts? We may get new people into church! BUT… where are we leading them?
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.” (Matthew 23:15)
Jesus often used parables. I can learn about self from characters in stories! I often start to connect, feeling safe with fiction, finding truths I might otherwise avoid.
A fantastic satire of Christian Evangelism is, “Adventures in Fishing For Men” by Jeremy Myers. A humorous story that challenges the motives behind what Christians might do.
The word average is a position, around which, most people fit. We all have a divergent range of individual strengths and weaknesses.
I am having to learn it is more than OK to be average and Jesus, by example, spent time away from the religious elite to be with a variety of low status people in need, all equally valued.
He advocated spending time with those rejected by religious leaders to focus on individuals beyond the large numbers. (Luke 15:1-7) He spent time with crowds of people too. (Mark 2:1-2) He valued all people. The average and the cognitive elite.
If I want to be better than average, my focus should be in relation to integrity and fear/awe of God, so that I might serve him faithfully with what I have left.
The word “Average” is not in my bible versions. The phrase, “most people” can be found.
“I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most people do.” (Nehemiah 7:2)
Where’s the point in me?
The decimal point provides place value for every digit.
Pleasing God or self? Is God my continuous fixed point of motivation, influence, and value?
Do I live by what I say I value and practice what I preach? Head with information, heart with inspiration. (Pete Greig)
Do I genuinely believe that, even I, can be of value to God? Easier said than done if I am honest, post-accident.
I need to proclaim GOOD news with God at the heart.
I need to stop engaging with self-serving valueless, FAKE news. (Forsaking –Already Know Everything) Don’t go ‘Rushin’ into that acronym.
I may be average rather than high or superior, but it’s worth being determined and strive to learn,
“the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13)
God the Almighty partner.