On Being Willing

000willingLast night I read these words:  We can be willing to do something we do not want to do…

I agree.

I can be willing without wanting, but it takes a lot to get me there.  A whole lot.

A lot of prayer.

A lot of meditating.

A lot of conversation with others about that need that I am not yet willing to fill.

A lot of consideration about the motive for asking me, the abilities and skills I might be able to contribute, and whether or not I choose to work for this cause, these people, and on this project.

It’s a lot to think about.

What will be accomplished as I join forces with others?

Does this match my skill set?

Could someone else do it as well, or better?

What is the time line for this work, and how much will it tax me to get involved?

I can be willing to do something I don’t want to do, but this time around I think I’m not. 

I feel like there is some manipulation going on in the situation I am facing this week, and frankly I am turned off by it.

I’m blessed to be involved in a program of recovery that asks me to stretch myself, but also to protect myself from others that would ask me to make up a deficit for them when it would cost me a great deal to do it and I would gain little from the experience.  On the other hand, I sometimes say YES to offers that I feel will stretch my faith and pull me way out of my comfort zone, but greatly benefit others.  The difference between the two situations:  One feels like God is asking me to stretch. The other feels like desperation and futility or great discomfort.

I don’t like being the answer for desperate people, but I will when it is appropriate.

My experience in the past has taught me that sometimes projects need to be 86’d or greatly altered in scope, but humans don’t have the courage to do it.  Getting involved then often ends up with me feeling like I have walked through a stink bog and will forever have the faint smell of stench on me. I am often exhausted in my efforts to help on these campaigns, because I feel stressed the whole time.

I pray I’ve made the right decision in saying NO this time.  Experience tells me I have, but man, I hate not knowing and the taste of regret.  One I cannot avoid. The other, hopefully, I can.

What do you do when you’re asked to work outside of your skill set?  What service work do you do that heartily feeds your soul?

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