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How to feel small

12 Apr

It always happens to me at conferences and gathering of other pastors or leaders.  As predictable as waves at the beach, I start feeling overwhelmed and insignificant.  So many great communicators, authors, leaders.  So many books written and important stuff accomplished.  I end up feeling like a gnat- and a small one at that.  The other luminaries (pun intended) glowing all around outshine in every way possible.
What could I possibly contribute, in light of all of these stars?  Do I even matter? In my own little world, I can- on occasion- start to believe that I’m “sumthin’ special” (I am in Louisville, Kentucky, after all).  And then I get a taste of the wider world- even the relatively small world of pastors and leaders- and reality pounces.  I’m nobody- and that’s not being falsely humble or self-pity-ing.  It’s just the truth.
Yes, I hear you already:  “No, you belong to Jesus and you matter to Him!”  “What you do matters and it’s not about being known or thought well of by others or being a big shot.”  Yes, I agree and that’s all true.
But let’s also acknowledge that we live in a culture that is all about making a name for yourself- in whatever way possible- even if that means humiliating yourself on a reality TV show.  We all want to be “sumthin’ special”- it’s in us- it’s in my heart in spades.  And comparison and envy are the toxic twins of the air we breathe.
So when I come to conferences and events like this (and it’s a great conference with wonderful and godly people)- I have to deal with this battle.  Remember that this feeling will come, and it will be strong.  And I have to come back to the deeper and truer reality:  What God has asked of me isn’t to be famous, but to be faithful.  Not to make something of myself, but to make as much of Him as I am able.  Not to compare myself (or my gifts) to another, but to simply say “Thank you” to the Giver of Gifts- for the ones He’s given me and the ones He’s poured out on others.  And above all, I have to keep bringing my attention back to Jesus.  He’s the One who said that to truly pursue greatness, the pathway is not grasping, climbing or comparing, but emptying, serving, and loving.  May I be guided- and protected- by Him.  Even at a pastor’s conference.

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1 Comment

Posted by on April 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

One response to “How to feel small

  1. Carol De Velder

    April 12, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Thank you Richard. for sharing your heart. You are still the best!

     

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