A more personal post today.
When my path to ministry began so many years ago, I was grateful to be clear about something that saved me many times from taking things personally and from having to defend myself, it was that I knew that there was a LOT that I didn’t know!
I am an observer, a people watcher and always have been. During my training, I watched as ministers who were busy baring their soul, working their tail off and living a life devoted to their congregations, and were so often crucified. I watched, and I took note. Since then, thank God, I have done my inner personal work and have been able to serve without much drama throughout my career. But, in the beginning, I promised myself to get a sign made that said: I reserve the right to be wrong and hang it above my desk. Now, follow me here: I figured this way, if you knew that I didn’t know everything and you could see my disclaimer, I would be free to try and fail without feeling too badly about it because failing is part of trying. You get that?
I have always been okay with not being the expert. How can anyone truly be an expert on life anyway? Life itself is morphing, changing, speeding up, and changing incessantly right before our eyes. Even people who call themselves experts must run fast to keep up with the pace of transformation that our globe is going through. Not being the expert has never prevented me from following my heart and dreams anyway.
I reserve the right to be wrong was intended, and still is, to be a constant reminder to take risks while recognizing that no risk is guaranteed to succeed, to be willing to experiment with life and ministry seeking that sweet spot for success. Note: still looking for that sweet spot! For any of us to live life to our fullest we must be willing to reach and trip, to get up again and again, to go where we haven’t gone without a safety net. Ministry is all of this and more, but I am certain that your life has contained within it its own risks. The life we live here in this beautiful country of ours has challenges that were not even on the radar for our parents and grandparents. Life was simpler, for some, for others is was hard and remains hard.
But consider this: what if all of life was considered an experiment and you were able to give yourself license to reach beyond your comfort zone with the disclaimer, I reserve the right to try, to fail, to fall, and to be wrong, but to then try again, fail again, and again? What if being ‘wrong’ just meant hitting the reset button? What if you could set your passions free to be expressed without concerning yourself about what anyone ever thought – ever? You know the next question: WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU COULDN’T FAIL? Imagine, no shame, no blame, just working at life with your fullest enthusiasm, the same way children enter play.
BUT, for those of you who are afraid to be wrong, and I know this might be you, I hear you and I understand the fear and pain involved. What I know, is that fear will hold you captive and eventually paralyze you if you don’t change this way of being. Needing to be right freezes you in a state of ego-based decisions. Being wrong is simply not as scary as it seems. You won’t die because you screwed up and, to the contrary, you will garner an abundance of love, support, and respect for being real, authentic, and honest. The only life worth living is one that reflects an unprotected heart, or as my teacher would say: The only life worth living is like an open book for all the world to read. Be not afraid my friend. Let yourself be you in all your glory!