A recent classis meeting was the first I’d gone to in a long time without having a bit of a knot in my stomach. I’d recently completed a term as chair of the Classical Ministry Committee and this meeting had been planned by others. I did not spend the trip to the meeting wondering what we could have planned better, what details we might have missed, or what unexpected turns this meeting would take.
So, did I sit back and enjoy the ride? Not really. I found myself jumping up like a ground hog surveying the landscape and addressing one question after another. Afterwards a colleague told me that the meeting had made him see me in an entirely different light. That was alarming! He went on to say that he’d always seen me as a reluctant speaker, someone who was only standing before classis because he had to. That day he saw that I was not reluctant at all. That was actually only a little less alarming. I’d become the kind of microphone hog I am that typically annoyed with.
I can justify almost every occasion I spoke – at least to myself. I cannot justify the totality. There is a time to speak and a time to be silent. More importantly, there is also a time to let someone else speak, and a time to let someone else lead. I once served on a board with someone who was completing his second three year term. He’d served well and had given every indication that he enjoyed his service. I asked him if he was going to miss being on that board. He answered that a lot of people had asked him that question, but then added that he did not look at it that way. The way he saw it, he was called to give himself fully to whatever board he served on or position he filled and then move on when the term ended. Rather than looking back and missing what had been, he looked ahead to new opportunities.
I like that. Instead of trying to hold on to whatever experiences or positions we may have had, we can let go. When our terms of service are finished we can step aside, trusting that God has other people who can carry on and confident that God is preparing new opportunities for us to serve. For me this blog is one of those new opportunities. But when it comes to letting go, it seems I still have some learning to do.