Tuesday, 14 September 2004

Which should we be more scared of: success or failure?

I was reading Scott's blog just now. He's been talking about the fear of allowing others to see him as he really is. And as the leader of a fellowship, so the people. They are discovering things about themselves too.

The post from Rose's blog struck a chord. She'd stepped out and danced, feeling self conscious about it, yet obviously with ability. When that ability was recognised and ridicule didn't result she felt amazed, yet released at the same time. This struck a chord for me in a number of ways.

Failure is a familiar friend, and occasional enemy, to me. I'm used to it and while not necessarily looking for it, have strategies in place to cope.

Success can be frightening.

Or to be more accurate, other people's recognition and appreciation of success can be very difficult to handle. I've been reasonably successful at work, and from time to time having that publicly recognised has caused a welling of emotion that is very difficult to handle. Not pride, but almost tears and certainly discomfiture. Church is a little different, since you can shrug off a bit of praise or say "it wasn't me: God did it" and often that's true.

And then there's confidence and assurance.

I wonder how much faith is linked to confidence? This Sunday I led worship. Before the meeting Clive (playing Keyboards) Paul(meeting leader) and I got together briefly. I said I had a cold, and that if the meeting went well then it was 'God's fault'. And although I stepped out in my own little strength, and stumbled a bit, He then took over and I was able to pray out words about healing hearts. I could instruct people to kneel before God in a way that 'I' could never do. But it all just happened, and rather like being part of a dance troup or playing a piece of music, there was a flow and I was moving into each place (rather lumpily as I didn't know where that place was) following the unseen score.

And you follow this or that, then people think you're a worship leader, and successful. I can feel those unwanted emotions even while typing. All I've done is read off a page I can't quite see and forget to trip up.

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