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Monday, June 08, 2009

I Quit

This week has hit me hard with the realization that I didn't resign my last youth pastor position. No. I quit.

I quit on God. No trust in Him or sense of personal perseverance on my part to stick it out, work through the tough stuff, and get through the dark tunnel to the other side of success, blessing, impact, character growth, and/or leadership (whatever you want to call it).

I quit on my family. I had a real opportunity to engage in a tough, hard, and difficult season so as to model for them God will see us through - no matter what is on the other side of through. To say to them no matter what, your hubby/daddy is going to keep on keepin on.

I quit on my team, ministry, and students. I had the chance to demonstrate faith and diligence. Faith that declares that we live for a big God who comes through in faithful and miraculous ways when we lean into Him. Diligence that shows what pastors, shepherd, leaders do for their flock when the night gets dark, the scary things show up, and the pain sets in.

I quit on me. I had the chance to develop spiritual muscle, but instead skipped out for easier things. Less painful things. Maybe even less fruitful things. I hated the weight room when I was in high school. Though I did the work required of me, I never went the extra mile to really get to the next level or strength and conditioning. And so it was at GCC in Indy. I don't know what that "next level" would have been for me and it's not to say that I haven't grown a ton in this new direction, I have taken. But it does say that I regret quitting and not sticking it out to what else God had in store for me.

Do I feel that the church I worked for quit on me in some way. Absolutely. But I can't (couldn't) fully control that. I can only control my actions, behavior, character, and leadership. That in turn impacts (controls?) the church, school, or organization that I work for, but at the end of the day, only I can control what I can control. And I controlled it by quitting...eeerrr...resigning.

Right or wrong. Good or bad. Wise or unwise. God's way or my way. It makes no difference now. It is what it is. It's in the past. I'm learning from it. Hopefully, I will be a smarter quitter and tougher "sticker"in the future. God, help me!

I'm so glad You don't quit on me.

p.s. To read more about what sparked this reflection, pick up Seth Godin's book, The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When To Quit (and When to Stick).

(bu to my mom for buying me the book)


Chris said...

I love you, man and I hear you. I have had similar thoughts and struggles about my ministry in South Dakota. I quit because it was "far away". no other reason, and then took the "first position available" instead of one in a quality ministry. A good mentor always reminds me to "feed His Sheep". Peter quit on Our Lord and Savior and Jesus just said "Do you love me? Feed my sheep" Peter trusted that and got up and went on. I am sure he never forgot what it felt like to quit on Jesus but he also never forgot what if felt like that Jesus DIDN'T QUIT ON HIM!!!!

--Chris Francis

Kiel said...

I love when you write more deep stuff, it's always interesting to see how you process things.

I just got done writing a blog post which dealt a little with regrets ( I've come to learn that there are regrets we can change and there are regrets that we can't change, so instead we must learn from them.

From a purely philosophical point of view, I would say that your experience of quitting, moving to Dayton, and all that has helped form who you are today... for better or for worse. And as my Dad always says, "it builds character."

So don't beat yourself up too much, I'm sure that what happens in our lives, God has a plan. Even when we steer off-course, He's kind of like a GPS unit, trying to guide us back.. even if we don't listen.

You're awesome Seth, I appreciate you bro. Hope you and the fam are having a good week!

Brian said...

Thanks for being transparent and real!

graham said...

a fellow masochist... thanks for being honest man... going through some similiar things here in Cambodia as I contemplate Seda and I moving to the States... not what I had invisioned/planned/hoped for... God bless you brother. G

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