It seems that more and more lately I’ve had to use the excuse or more accurately; explain that I haven’t had the time lately to do “X” because I have been spending hours working on my Leaving Cert. Most recently I hadn’t spent as much time shopping for Christmas presents as I would deem adequate. (No-one seemed to care all that much, so I’m partially off the gift-giving hook for sixth year.) But this points to a new pattern of behaviour lately. When I’ve been given work for the good old Leaving Certificate, I’ve just gone and done it. It doesn’t matter that it takes a lot of time, I’ve just needed to find the will to start.
With a massive DCG project due next (probably “last” when you read this) Wednesday I am well ready to sign off on it and rest, in fact I’ve been ready to do so for a number of weeks already. But starting each new section it’s been the same, I’ve already committed to the overall project and I will not back down from a task I don’t really want to do. On completing each one, the feeling of satisfaction has been the same as well. Each time it felt easier as I did it until I wondered why I hesitated to start at all. You’ve probably felt like that about one thing or another at some point in your life.
Parallel to this, I have started to notice a very similar phenomenon when you use the gifts of the spirit. It can feel like an impossible task to walk up to someone and say “I think god wants me to say this to you…” or even, “Do you mind if I pray for you for healing?” I’ve several times come so close to convincing myself that I’m being silly and am just putting words in God’s mouth. But really, as so many others have had to tell themselves, “I’d rather say it and be wrong than hold my tongue and never know. If I’m wrong then no-one dies, but if it’s from god; then someone gets blessed.” I’ve also found that the aftermath of these acts compares well also. It never seems as much of a big deal once it’s been done; it’s common that rather than feeling proud, to have delivered “the modern word of god” (or whatever grandiose term that you feel suits best), what you feel is rather God’s immense love and compassion for those blessed by what was just done, whether healing, prayer, prophecy or other.
While I can’t speak with authority on the subject, I suspect that the same emotional rollercoaster is part of evangelism. I can’t say that I’ve often or, maybe, ever plucked up the courage (which really shouldn’t be this hard) to introduce someone to the God I love. It doesn’t seem to be for us to feel pride in what god calls us to do. I don’t know, does anyone?