A response to Graduate School…Like College.
One summer some people in our church participated in a watered down version of a Pilgrim’s Progress wilderness type activity. They had to water it down because when we signed up for the camp this wilderness activity was not planned, so no one was prepared for what it would really involve. So the organizers and speakers watered it down for the group. There was one activity that had the most impact on me and it was very crucial and important for our church to go through that as a group. I can only pray that it affected everyone else the way it affected me.
Each church separated in to a group. Our church had about eight in attendance at this camp–mostly our leaders. We all had blindfolds except for BS who is the pastor. Each member lined up behind Pastor BS and we placed our hands on the shoulders of the person in front of us and put on our blindfolds. We were in the woods, there were trees, and hills and rocks and none of us had ever been to this place before. BS had to lead us to the finish line and we had to trust him and listen to his instruction.
Can you imagine being blindfolded in a strange place being lead by someone who you don’t trust? They can see everything that is ahead, but you can’t. You only have to go by their word. So in the beginning BS had us moving really slowly and in odd patterns (avoiding dangers we couldn’t see, I’m sure). We were all nervous, but we could handle it a little. “Pastor, what are you doing?!” “Where are you taking us?!” Then he told us we could pick up our pace. We all freaked out then. Then he started running. So we had to run too! We didn’t know what was ahead. At first we thought, “this guy is nuts, I can’t believe he’s got us running in the wilderness and we can’t even see.” But he could. We go to the finish line, took the blind folds off and looked back. BS had successfully lead us through the woods, down a gravel hill and to flat land–where we started running.
We had to trust him. He was our leader. He is our leader. God places us with people who will lead and that we must follow. Maybe we don’t always trust that they know what they are doing. But we need to trust that God knows what he is doing. Not trusting those who God placed in authority over us is saying, “Lord, you don’t know what you’re doing. Why’d you make this idiot the pastor (mentor, teacher, etc).
I prayed for God’s wisdom in who my mentor should be. His answer was this one and the other one. We’ll call them Mutt and Jeff respectively. Jeff has been a mentor longer than Mutt so Jeff knows the ins and outs of my various situations. Jeff allows me to be an adult–make decisions, mess up all that jazz. Mutt is fairly new at his job, but he’s really good at what he does and he’s a perfectionist. He would rather protect me from falling than to let me walk before really knowing how. I just don’t always believe him when he talks and I don’t always agree with what he says. I continually pray, “Lord, who do you want to be my mentor? Should I just have one or do you want me to work with both? What do I do in this situation?” Each time I pray, I know without a doubt that both Mutt and Jeff should mentor me. I know without a doubt that God has placed me under both of them and that God wants me to glean what I can from each of them and to not limit myself.
My lack of trust in Mutt is not his issue. He isn’t doing anything that he shouldn’t be doing. Maybe he isn’t always completely honest. That is not for me to decide and I can’t expect people who do not live a godly life to respond in godly ways. The Lord showed me that I was placing my trust in man. I know I am right where I need to be and my lack of trust in Mutt leads me to worry and want to give up–saying it isn’t worth it. Worry is sin. The truth of the matter is that I felt Mutt had so much authority over my life that he could determine the outcome of this situation. He doesn’t have that authority in my life.
Me not trusting someone is my issue, not theirs. My situation isn’t one of the leader truly doing something wrong, it is my suspicions and judgments of their behavior. That is definitely a problem that I have to allow the Lord to change in me.