In the back of Christianity magazine there was an article by someone calling themselves Popeye, quoting the rhyme he repeats:
"I yam what I yam, and that's all I yam, I'm Popeye the sailor man"
His observation after a lifetime in pastoral ministry was that people don't change, despite that being the direct opposite of expectation for as as Christians. It seemed to finish up with a little dig at the reader, that it was really them that didn't change, and that actually the author was changing really - or maybe I misread it/missed a nuance lost in translation from umerkan to inglesh.
But it's good to review, and I can see I'm not the man I was 5, 6 years ago. On the one hand I'm gentler, slower to speak & correct, less inclined to try to prove myself, demonstrate ability, wear clothes because I think they make me look good, feel a pride in myself. The flip side is I'm quiet and becoming shy, tending to lack confidence, much less outgoing and inclined to feeling down, far less enthusiastic about being sociable and spending time with others.
So today I downloaded a 'free' (they still require your email address as payment) e-book on Simple Ways To Be Missional from The Verge, and there were a range of suggestions about how to interact with your co-workers. Some of these I find I'm already doing quite naturally because they fit my personality, faith and expectation, but some - like organising social events and inciting people round for drinks or dinner are an effort I've realised I've not wanted to make for a long time.
There's a danger one can easily slip into, where you 'do' so much church that you start becoming hedged in about the way you think and feel and interact, and I've been realising that's where I am right now. I have a desire to be missional, to reach out, to work in the community, but at the same time I've lost the push, dynamics, energy to drive through where others are unhappy or apathetic, I prefer to be at home quietly instead of with others and find it difficult to talk to people these days. It's no-one's fault in particular - other than mine, maybe.
So I need to take stock, see what needs to be done to lift the eyes, re-energise, push out, see new directions and opportunities. At least I know that I am still changing, and have not yet become so cold as to solidify and become immovable.