I never understand anybody wanting to be in charge. I think it is a terribly difficult and lonely place to be.
I used to love the bumper sticker:
Don’t follow me. I’m lost too.
Honestly in a world where so many seek power, people like me actively shun it, even when it is virtually put in our laps. I was very entertained by the film Bruce Almighty which appeared to show the pitfalls of a human having absolute power. Much as it was hard to share my life with toxic, controlling individuals, it had also kept me safe from feeling that I was in charge. (Yes , I had managed to work that one out for myself very early on.) The thing that scares me most about getting older is that now I am increasingly the one, to whom people turn for guidance, as if I have the answers. My usual response is,
“Well I can tell you what didn’t work for me. I can only tell you about where I think I may have gone wrong.”
Yet I have often felt surrounded by apparently self-assured, all-knowing individuals. I think but usually don’t say,
“So you are an expert on whatever but I have lived it.”
I have had the opportunity to experience living the life of the Old and New Testament. I have walked the streets and places mentioned in the bible. I have visited refugee camps. I have sat on trains sharing food and resources with Russians.Chinese, Mongolians. I have taught youngsters from every culture imagineable, (and of course my latest journey- realising I have been sharing my life with blatantly toxic individuals, who have caused me to reassess my views on many matters.)
I did it all so I could learn. Thing is, despite this I still usually feel none-the-wiser and I still do dumb things, although perhaps not as frequently as I used to.
We label people so easily but usually ignore the instructions given to us by the one human who did know what he was doing, Jesus. He told us to look for people’s fruit. (Incidentally perhaps this is the one sure-fire way of uncovering toxic individuals.)
He had seemed unconcerned with labels. He seemed only interested in whether people could admit their mistakes, own them, ask for forgiveness and follow him.