Monday, March 16, 2015

The Gracious No

My girls are getting old enough and mature enough to make some insightful observations about me that I probably need to take to heart.

The other day, I was kind of whining about the fact that I expect to be asked if I would be willing to lead a BSF group next year. They're launching a new study about Revelation and are expecting a huge influx of "alumni" and new people, which will mean they need more group leaders.

I don't really want to be a group leader. It means meeting way early on Monday mornings, coming early on Tuesday nights, finding time during the week to make contact with my group members . . . all things that just sound like burdens and stressors right now on top of everything else I have going on (see my last post). But I know there will really be a need, so (I bemoaned to my daughters) I should probably do it.

That's when my daughter made this gentle, respectful, therapist-like remark: "You seem to think that whenever there is a need, it is your job to fill it." Her sister nodded sagely.

Well . . . uh . . . hmmm.

When you say it like that, it sounds like I have a problem. Of course there are needs out there that I'm not meant to fill. I actually have gotten pretty good at saying no to certain things. I learned long ago that, if a job entails my being in a room with a bunch of children on a regular basis, it is probably best for all involved that I not participate. A kid person, I am not.

And there are other jobs I am pretty useless at. Finding or making costumes would be one. I'm lucky to dress myself in the mornings -- I can't dress my actors.

So, I guess I have decided that when a job comes up that I can do, and especially if there's a real need, I have no excuse not to step up.

But my girls may be right that I don't need to take on every such job. Yes, BSF has meant a lot to me, and I would love to give back to the organization, but if I'm stretched too thin, I'm of no use to them or anyone else I am serving.

And the thing is, there really are other people who can serve as group leaders. Some of the other jobs I do require a more unique skill set that I happen to have. Fewer replacements for me are available.

So, I've been praying about this BSF thing. And praying differently than I usually do. I tell God, I really don't want to do this job out of obligation. If I'm going to do it, I want to do it with enthusiasm and passion -- my group members would deserve that from me. If He wants me to be a group leader, I'm asking him to make me excited about the idea, so I accept it because I want to do it. Otherwise, I'll graciously say no. At least, I think I'll say no. I'll try really hard to say no, anyway.

Darn it. I really thought I had this "Just Say No" thing down.

1 comment:

Ona Marae said...

I think your daughters sound like they have had wise upbringing and are now returning the favor a bit! And it sounds like you are gracious enough to listen when it is relevant. Your blog is a wonderful reminder to me of the very same thing. Thank you!