I Think I’m Learning

Written by cycleguy on March 7th, 2010

Do you remember that old childhood story of the “Little Engine That Could”?  Relax…this is not a post about the dangers of positive thinking.  🙂  But the mantra of the engine was “I think I can.  I think I can.”   And by cracky he thought himself right to the top of the hill.  My mantra these past few Sundays has been “I think I’m learning.  I think I’m learning.”  Ever since coming to OVCF I have always showed up at 8:00 to help set up chairs and move stuff around.  I have not begrudged that at all.  Sure, it gets old after awhile, especially when the same ones come week after week to help.  At the risk of naming names and leaving any out, we have had several make a commitment to help.  Okay…the same ones week in and week out.  One man comes and it is his personal commitment to set up the kid’s area.  One couple comes and while he goes about getting the sound equipment hooked up (with our guitarist) his wife and sometimes the children help with bringing the chairs while I set them up.  If they are not helping with the chairs the children are involved in set up elsewhere.  My wife gets the tables ready for displays and then gets the computer/Power Point ready.  I moved bleachers, put out attendance pads, carried tables and just did whatever needed to be done-as well as setting up chairs.  That all changed three weeks ago when I had neck surgery and was told no lifting. I can slide chairs but everything else was off-limits (my wife keeps a pretty good eye out on me so I don’t “fudge” and do something I am not supposed to).   Each week the helpers have gone up in numbers and the tear down has been phenomenal.

So…why do I say “I think I’m learning.  I think I’m learning.”  As a leader (and if you are one you know what I mean), it is sometimes hard to turn over the reins to someone else, to let someone take ownership of something and run with it.  “After all,” we think, “No one can do it quite as efficient, as good, as perfect as I can.”  To make matters worse we have trouble turning over the responsibilities to someone else because it may even look like we are slacking on our job.   I am so bad that at times I go around and straighten and widen spaces between chairs because they aren’t where I think they should be.  Sheeez!  They tease me about it but you know they do have a point!  I need to let it go!!  Today I did…okay a little. 🙂

All skate question: do you have trouble letting things go?  Do you feel like you have to have your hand in things to make sure they are done right?  Word from the not-so-wise (but learning):  “Let it go!”   I think I’m learning…  Any thoughts you may have?  I would like to hear them.


12 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ike says:

    “Lord, I have a text and I have an idea and a mind and hands and a computer and health and energy and a free day and safety from interruption. If I rely on these things—these good things that you yourself have given me—then what the people will get on Sunday morning will be what a man can produce. And, Lord, they don’t need another man-made thing. They live with man-made things and ideas all week long. What your people need—what I need—is something beyond what man can make. Something supernatural from you.”

    “John Piper”

    Piper also said something that might interest a “cycleguy”:

    “And I don’t mean only in religious areas of your life. I used the sermon for an example because I am a preacher. But I did the very same thing as I began my bike ride Saturday morning. As I put my foot in the pedal strap I said,

    Lord, I have my legs that can get me to Minnehaha Falls and back, I have eyes and arms and ears and a sturdy bike and a helmet and a pump and extra tube. I have done this many times now. I can do it. But Lord, I renounce reliance on my legs and my arms and my eyes and my bike, and look to you now to make this ride more than it ever could be if I only depended on me. Would you go with me and protect me and open my eyes to see your glory and teach me and strengthen me for my work and minister to me in ways that I don’t even know I need this morning. Everything is from you now, Lord, I rely on you. Let’s go.”

  2. cycleguy says:

    Ike: two powerful thoughts from John. I have to be aware of that first one every Sunday…actually every week as I prepare. And that last one on the bike: that is cool that not only does John ride he prays for God’s strength. Appreciate you sharing this with me.

  3. Jeff Harris says:

    I’ve been there and done that. It’s not easy to let go. Leadership is partly training and letting go. I am sure you are not asking any more of them than you would be willing to do yourself. Reminds me of the “Washing of the Feet”.
    How must Jesus have felt when he turned over the spreading of the “Good News” to a somewhat bumbling bunch of followers. It worked out, perfectly.
    I am sure you are subject to the 80/20 rule. 80% of the work done by 20% of the people.
    Have a great day.

  4. cycleguy says:

    Jeff: I am sure our “club” is not small by any stretch. I shouldn’t be but I am continually amazed at Jesus’ trust in His followers to get the job done. Great point you made. And yes, we probably fall into that 80/20 category. Thanks for stopping by. If I am guessing it is already past noon for you so have a good rest of the day. 🙂

  5. Jim F. says:

    I have a hard time Letting go but I force myself to let go and then work hard not to not compare how I would do it. It is a battle that sometimes I win and sometimes I lose. I have learned that I am many times a bottle cap on what God wants to do. I am like you in learning that letting go is the best way to see God do something miraculous. God can only do it if I get out of the way.

  6. cycleguy says:

    Jim: wish I was your age and learning this lesson. You have a fantastic future in front of you with God’s help. I can’t wait to see what God will do with that cap blown off. Thanks for the comment.

  7. Michael says:

    I learned to let “control” go when my wife and I were serving as childrens pastors. Each week we would have a worship service for them while the adults had their service.

    Each week I was writing scripts, and skits, and activites and I would not involve my wife, but she would lead the worship.

    I took a week off and she led…I found out how creative she was…moreso than me…

    So…I think I learned 🙂

  8. I think there are a lot of people in churches waiting to be asked to help. It is so easy for us to approach our go-to members in order to get a job done, but who are we leaving out as a result? The example you give above of how God is filling the setup needs of your church fellowship helps show that truth.

    I hear talk of the 80/20 rule applying to churches, and I have even said it myself. I wonder what would happen if we started talking about falling under God’s rules and applying them instead of trying to apply man’s theories/rules to God’s people. We are all a part of the body of Christ and each have our purpose and function in the body. How do we become enablers and encourages to those who have yet to take up their roles in the body? I bet many are sitting on the bench because they don’t know how to jump in.

    As someone else said, we can be a bottle cap to God’s workings. What might happen if we became can openers?

  9. cycleguy says:

    Michael: what a way to learn! That is great she is so talented. Thanks for the good application.

  10. cycleguy says:

    Dusty: Fantastic thoughts! I think it is amazing that it took my neck surgery to bring some folks out of the woodwork. Hmmm maybe i can fake something every week? 🙂 I also like your idea of becoming enablers and encouragers. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we popped that top? Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment.

  11. Michael says:

    I also wanted to mention that we set up weekly at our church in the am because we use a local gym…I see the things that you are describing regarding the same people every week, but it has developed a stronger foundation for the church if that makes sense…

  12. cycleguy says:

    I do understand what you are saying Michael if….there are more than just a couple people helping each week. The past couple of weeks have been really nice with cooperation. I hope your fellowship continues experiencing that bond.