To recap yesterday's post...
In Part I of our story, I found myself trying to read the signs and signals for my next step forward after a suitable period of personal mourning of my vocal loss at which time I realized: I don't have to be in charge of everything in the whole world; I need more clarity while listening for answers; having my plans thwarted as I offered to chair a church organization was a humbling experience. (For more details, if you missed yesterday, see Part I...July & August.)
Part II - September
So despite my disappointment that I was not to head Movement for a Better World this year, I decided to go to the next meeting and volunteer, especially with the making of the sandwiches. This community had been gathering Wednesday mornings for years to make peanut butter sandwiches and put bag lunches together for a local homeless shelter. I have true empathy for the homeless and had been looking forward to joining this group for years...just as soon as my kids were old enough to get themselves to school.
When I walked into the meeting, I literally laughed aloud as I realized why God had not called me to chair this organization...the reason was immediately evident to me. For seated around the conference table in our church hall were fifteen members, age 60+ with Tim, the new chairman, who had been a member for more than 15 years, knowing every program inside and out. I couldn't have been more wrong for the post. "Understood, God," I thought. "I don't always have to be in charge of everything in order to serve you." Those folks would have eaten me for lunch if I had come in like gangbusters, which is my way, re-organizing and bossing people around! As it was, they all kind of looked at me as if I had lost my way and ended up in the wrong place. I must say, though, that it felt great to be the youngest for a change!
I sat through the meeting, joined in the prayer time, listened to the minutes and by-laws, had an oatmeal raisin cookie and waited to see what I was being called to do. I signed up to help at a few events...manning the table for the feed and diaper a baby drive and a tentative commitment to help with the Christmas gifts for needy families. I knew I still had not quite found my niche...nothing felt just right, like I was being led there. Maybe it was the lunch preparation...maybe that had been it all along! Maybe all God wanted me to do was make pb&j's! When the floor opened up to questions near the end, trembling with anticipation, I asked how I could help make the sandwiches.
The elderly women looked at one another covertly and one said, "Oh, dear, you don't need to worry about that. We have plenty of support."
I thought, "Did I just get shut down?"
"Well, if you ever need anyone, I'm happy to help," I offered cheerfully.
Silence. Sly glances.
"Oh, we'll be fine, don't you worry."
Yup, I was dissed by five little old ladies...
Okay, Lord, I'll man a table, I'll sort Christmas gift packages. Clearly I'm not meant to make the sandwiches. I'm also not meant to lead anyone here...I'm meant to follow. You got me to the meeting (good job, God, by the way...pretty sneaky with the bulletin ad) so I know I'm here for a reason. Kick me off the pew with a sign...
(Tune in tomorrow for the final installment of this scintillating drama!)