Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Affirmation and Doubt
Recently, in the past month or so, I have been struggling with doubt. Doubting myself in teaching our adult christian education class. I keep thinking people will figure out I'm full of *** and call my bluff. I wonder to myself if I am teaching what I am supposed to be teaching and if anyone cares overall. I am very careful to check myself periodically to make sure some narcissism isn't seeping in, and instead of it being about the spiritual journey - it becomes all about me. I am wary of that. I "know" its not about me, but my personal ego and self gratification sometimes get the best of me, so I try to remember to be gracious and humble whenever possible.
A couple of weeks ago, while doing our current study over the book "I'm Fine With God... It's Christians I Can't Stand" one of the members who attends about once every other month shows up. We are talking about whatever and she asks "Why do we care?". I'm kind of taken aback. Why do we care? Well hell, why do we care about anything? I wanted to say "well I guess in your case you don't care"... but I didn't. I tried in my best political voice to articulate why we should care, because Christians doing stupid stuff gives us all a bad name and leads people off-course on their spiritual journey.
And I went home kind of ticked off. Questions like "why bother" and "am I getting through to these casual christians" bounced inside my heart and head until I couldn't stand it. Maybe I'm off base and someone else needs to take over teaching.
Yep. I was Eeyore. Woe is me. But hey, it was my pity party.
Someone else taught for me this past Sunday as I was out of town and I met that person for breakfast this morning. He related to me that they had a general open discussion of our past class topics and people really opened up. They discussed how a certain book or study resonated with them and how all of the studies seemed to come together. They shared personal stories about growing up, dysfunction, church, and tied it back to each thing we have talked about over the last year or so. There was even a first time visitor who shared that he was a recovering addict and dealer who has been clean for the past two years.
Affirmation. A little message from God?
Yes, they have been listening. growing. discerning. connecting. trusting. It was good to hear that. Relieved my doubts about what we have been doing. That it does make a difference, and yes, the answer to "why do we care?" was answered.