Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The long dark night of the soul ...

seems to begin for me at about 4.00 am so perhaps I should have called this post 'The quite short getting light morning of the soul'. But it doesn't have quite the same ring to it, does it?

It's the second time it's happened after a tribal gathering at Zac's. The first time I woke and was tossing and turning gradually getting deeper and deeper into the dodgy 'what a waste of space I am/why can't I do anything right?' mire. On that occasion by 5.00 am I'd composed a post but when it came to writing it I realised how self-pitying it would sound so didn't. This time you're not so lucky. Stop reading now if you want to avoid a wallow.

Last night in Zac's was Sean's last for a few weeks as he's taking his family on an adventure through Europe. In his absence he told us that Steve, Martin and I were the 'elders' he was leaving in charge. Can you sense my head swelling already? On top of the baptisms on Sunday I was beginning to feel like 'someone'. The thing is that in Linden I am one of many. If anyone were to be asked for an opinion I wouldn't be the first to be consulted; I'd probably be about 54th. So responsibility at Zac's is something I am privileged and honoured to have. 

I am aware that people who are moderately stable, have been Christian for some time and are willing to be committed and take on responsibility in Zac's are few and far between, so really being included amongst them is more down to ticking some boxes than to choice in the matter. I tell myself if so-n-so was there then he/she'd be the one instead of me. But then I point out to myself that he/she isn't there so the fact that I am there in itself is valuable so I shouldn't knock myself. (If you're still reading are you following me? I get a little confused myself at this point.) So my mood swings from elation - and pride - to self-pity. 

Back to yesterday evening. We considered the verses where the disciples are arguing over who is greatest amongst them, quite appropriate considering my frame of mind. Then later on, when we're on the coffee and cake time, one of our sort-of regulars came up to me. He asked if I was okay as he felt I'd been a bit quiet with him.

I paused before answering: I could lie or I could tell him the truth. A simple choice. I opted for truth and said something along these lines: I was disappointed with the way you behaved the other week. (I don't know if you remember the incident but this is the man who had raised something that should have been a private matter in public when I'd been leading.)
He replied that he felt he'd been right.
I disagreed.
He said, 'Perhaps I'd better not come to Zac's any more then.' And left.

Well, you handled that well, Mrs 'I'm an Elder'. 

Pride and fall echo around my brain. Especially at 4.00 am.


JT said...

ah Liz welcome to my world!! 'Elders' aren't perfect and mistakes happen. That's why confession and repentace applies to us also. Sometimes though we have to say the hard things, as long as we know we 'serve' them and not them us...we will not suffer from pride (much). We serve 'under' the great Shepherd as Peter tells us (1 Pet 5...also have a look at Paul on the beach acts 20 I think and look at 1 tim 3). We are given a library which we are to listen to intently as it is his 'word' to us and we need to listen to the Holy Spirit too. Its often hard, but flock first (after Jesus and his word) is what its all about. Morning always comes even after long nights.

Liz said...

Thanks, JT.

Leslie: said...

He may have a change of heart and mind after reflecting on your words. Regardless, I bet he'll be back!

Liz said...

Maybe, Leslie.