This post will start with a visual aid, a moment from my career as a TV camera operator back in 2003 when I was covering an NBA game in Phoenix, AZ.
(Embedded video HERE)
That was my job. Right on the court, just inches from large athletes moving at top speed.
This clip shows just one of the many times that I got run over while on the job.
My hat and glasses went flying. I rolled backwards like a turtle. But the show must go on… so I dusted myself off and got back to work. Just another night at the arena.
Here is where I spin that story into a blog post:
3 years ago, I was working at a church that had hired me to “take them to the next level“. Early on everything was fine; the next level often means changes and the folks there seemed to embrace the changes I was making; sometimes reluctantly, others with a little more vigor.
Taking the job was not easy for my family as it meant moving about 2,200 miles… Moving my wife away from her mother, sister and friends… Moving my daughter away during her junior year of high school.
And then I got run over.
I didn’t realize that I was being run over until about 8 months into the assignment. My character began to be questioned, my work was minimized, and all of my next level thinking was rebuffed. It was much different than being plowed by a point guard… Rather than being struck, I found my self stuck.
Stuck in a job that was giving me ulcers.
Stuck in a job that was making me seriously question my faith. My calling. My ability to lead my family.
I was completely run over.
One big problem here: This wasn’t the sidelines of a major sporting event, this was a church. A place where people are supposed to be gracious, kind, and supportive. Perhaps I will go into more of the details of all that happened there another time, just understand that by the time that I knew I had to leave, I was near ready to call it quits with church-work and do something else. Fortunately, I found a new job with an amazing church that I love to this day.
My confession: While I love God’s Church with all that I am, some of the wounds that I incurred in my previous position still sting a bit. Much the way an old injury will leave you with a scar or a slight limp, I wonder if I will ever be able to shake all of what happened to me. I want to be all that God wants me to be and I don’t want my past to define my future. People let me down, God didn’t… I can’t ever lose sight of that.
Rather than this muse being just another indictment on the inner-workings of the Church, I’d rather have it be a step in the direction of healing and forgiveness. Maybe you have been hurt by a church’s leadership… maybe you’ve questioned God’s calling…
Maybe you’ve been run over too.
Be encouraged; You will heal. You may lose your hat and your glasses, but you can dust off and go back to work.
For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn. Romans 11:29