Monday, September 29, 2014

Small Me

My boss has a blog, too, and her post this morning reminded me of a dream I had many years ago.

In my dream, I had just been hired at a new job -- well, hired on a one-week trial basis. My new boss (the one in the dream, not the real-life blogger) was going to be out of town for that week, and he gave me three specific jobs to get done while he was gone: Job #1, Job #2, and Job #3. None of these jobs were terribly difficult. I was confident I would come out of this week shining pretty and get hired for sure.

But as the week progressed and I walked around the company getting to know how things worked, I found the place was absolutely falling apart. I spent the whole week fixing messes, putting out fires, trying to keep the ship afloat, to mix a bunch of metaphors. It was exhausting, but a bit exhilarating as well. I felt so valuable and competent. Wouldn't the boss be thrilled to have me on board?

So, at the end of the week, boss-man returned and asked me how my week went. I told him everything, all the disasters I had found and all the problems I had fixed, trying desperately to communicate my excellence while maintaining a veneer of humility and carefully avoiding the implication that my boss didn't know what he was doing.

He listened quietly. Then he said, "But I didn't ask you to do any of those things. I asked you to do Job #1, Job #2, and Job #3."

And in a moment of horror, I realized . . . I had done none of those jobs.

Then he proceeded to explain to me how, in my zealous efforts to rescue the company, I had actually messed everything up. I was the one who didn't know what I was doing. I didn't have the big picture, like he did. I screwed up. I screwed everything up. Royally.

"It's not your job to keep this ship afloat," the boss said. "That's MY job -- and I'm quite capable of doing my job. Your job is to do exactly what I ask you to do. No more; no less."

I woke up just as my heart was dropping to my feet, fully expecting to get fired on the spot . . . and I didn't need a prophet to interpret this dream for me. I knew EXACTLY what God was trying to tell me.

You are not the Savior. You are not here to fix every problem you come into contact with. You are here to do exactly what I tell you to do: Job #1, Job #2, and Job #3. Get over your messiah complex, and just listen and obey

The day I learned how small I am and how valued and useful I can be in my smallness. Except I'm still learning.


Susan Macias said...

What a great picture. We get so busy with all the needs that we see that we lose sight of our assignment.

Angie Thier said...

Wow! What a dream and what a poignant lesson! Thanks for sharing!