Day 20 – Freedom to be teachable

We have a fun saying among our church staff. Blessed are the flexible. Then you can add the second part – For they will not be bent out of shape. 

You can substitute blessed for other words, like “favored” or “preferred” or “easy to work with”.

Have you ever worked on a project with someone who only saw their point of view? And never the other persons? How awfully frustrating that can be.

That person has been me plenty of times. I’ve worked at my church for over 12 years now. I’m now qualifying as “older” among many of my coworkers. I have been there since before many of them even had their driver’s licenses. I know a lot of stuff. I handle a lot of things. I can feel like I’m pretty important.

Results are important, work is important, succeeding is important. My ego? It shouldn’t even be in the picture. My involvement in a project or system should be a good thing, not one that others dread.

I don’t want to be unteachable. Or difficult to work with. I want to be flexible and open minded and wise. I want to be part of the solution, not the problem.

There’s an old story that may or may not be true, but I found it on the interwebs as such:

Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a Collision.
Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.
Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.
Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.
Americans: This is the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, the second largest ship in the United States’ Atlantic fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers and numerous support vessels. I demand that YOU change your course 15 degrees north, that’s one five degrees north, or countermeasures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.

“Ferryland Lighthouse” by Travis D  

Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call.

This is a great illustration for any kind of conflict. There have been times when I have gotten too personally attached to an outcome and forgotten that I am not doing battle. 

I am doing Kingdom work, and what matters is HOW I do it, and how others are treated.

So what is our goal? Paul said it well in Corinthians, that if we possess all things but don’t have love, we have missed it. I’m not suggesting that we have to love everyone. But we do need to remember what is the most important thing. And that’s people.

Maybe it’s getting older that is teaching me. Maybe it’s getting wiser. Maybe it’s a little of both, but I aim to be more flexible, and less like a lighthouse.

Where do you need to increase your flexibility?

Thanks for reading, until tomorrow!


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