Thursday, April 22, 2010

Love puts us down where we belong

With apologies to Joe Cocker, Jennifer Warnes, and Will Jennings, I've decided to take their chart-topping hit from An Officer and a Gentleman and find fault with it.  Of course, if Louis Gossett Jr. shows up and kicks me like he did Richard Gere in that film, I might take it back.

This was brought to mind with a letter I received yesterday.  It was from the Recording Secretary of the Southern Baptist Convention.  Now, for those of you vaguely unfamiliar with SBC politics, this part will be confusing, but every year there are certain committees that are formed/appointed to help manage the process and decisions of the SBC as we meet for our annual meeting.  It's necessary to do this because an annual SBC meeting is anywhere from 7,000 to 12,000 (or more, there's been 20,000) messengers coming to vote on SBC business.  There's processes for verifying that votes are only allowed to people with a legitimate right to vote (you have to be approved by an SBC church), processes for nominating the board members of various agencies, processes for determining resolutions to pass on to the body, and processes for determining what business actually gets to the floor.  There's even a committee that meets to determine who sits on the committee that makes nominations. 

Now, about 3 weeks ago, I got an email informing me I had been recommended to participate in one of these committees.  It would have required me to recommend people into positions of influence within the SBC, sort of a gatekeeper to who gets influence.  To say the least, I was slightly (read:quite a bit) excited at the opportunity.  I'm not exactly the SBC insider I once wanted to be, but it felt good to be moving towards fame and glory within my denomination (yes, it's a denomination and a convention.  Stop that.)  I agreed over the phone to serve with this committee, and was told to expect a phone call or a letter in the next week or so.

Meanwhile, it's been a few weeks.  No call, no letter, until yesterday, when I received a letter thanking me for agreeing to serve on a different committee.  In truth, it's a slightly less significant role in the internal machinations of the SBC.  I was, personally, unsure of how to respond.  I didn't know if I had offended someone or done something wrong to be "demoted."

Then I remembered something.  I had been pondering who I knew that I could recommend to anything in the SBC.  I had come up with 2 non-preachers and about half-a-dozen preachers I knew well enough that I would recommend.  That's not enough.  By far, it's too few non-preachers, because the SBC was never intended to be managed by professional clergy.  We'd be Credo-baptistic Presbyterians.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but that's not us.  I had been praying that God would guide me on who to nominate and how to handle the situation.

This is an answer to prayer for me.  God, in His love, put me down where I belong.  My responsibilities will be much more fact based and much less relational based.  I will be doing something I'm much more suited for instead of something I wouldn't have been good at doing.

In all, love has put me down where I belong.  It's been good on the ego, because my hats fit better again, and it will be good for those I'm working with, because I'll be doing something I should be.

In what ways have you ever been "put down" only to realize you needed it?



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