Song of Solomon makes a pretty radical statement when it says, “You are all together beautiful my love, there is no flaw within you.” There is no flaw. For most of my life I have known these words but not understood them. I have wrestled with both the idea of being beautiful and have been convinced of my flaws. I always felt like I was either too much or not enough, always the wrong make up:
Not strong enough
Not talented enough
I was officially called into ministry at the age of 16, but I think within my bones I had known much longer, but even with that call there was always pieces of myself that didn’t make sense. Pieces that were not sinful but that I could connect with pastor; something always felt a little ill-fitting….
I didn’t feel like I had enough vision…
I had never shown myself to be strategic…
I had a hard time grasping on to the philosophical ideas in theological thinking…
I struggled to reconcile my call with what I knew about myself. Then in college I was given administrative opportunities through both work and internships. It was as though those areas that had not made sense before finally made sense; I realized that I had a very administrative brain: Numbers, forms, excel, procedures, etc. I was in my element.
And yet, I was still called to be a pastor. Some tried to help me reconcile the two by saying that I could be an “Administrative Pastor” but still that wasn’t what God was saying. Everywhere I turned I felt as though I had to claim one identity or the other. I had to be either mostly administrative or mostly pastoral, there didn’t seem to be an in between.
I would hear comments and conversations about how pastors are always big picture and never detail. How pastors don’t understand, grasp or do admin, and comments about how admin can’t do pastoral. The idea emerged that admins are all task and no relationship….
It felt much like the choice that the characters had to make in the movie Divergent. They had to choose a faction to be a part of and, in essence, when they chose, that became their identity, and essentially their thought pattern. They could only be of one faction or another…
Over the past few years God has challenged me to grow and step up in both pastoral and administrative ways but regardless of this challenge, I have still felt this unspoken pressure to choose.
Yesterday morning, as I drove to a meeting for my very administrative day job, I was thinking and praying about strategy for my youth group and church. As I was praying in the Spirit and singing along to Bethel, God dropped this message into my heart:
For such a time as this, I purposefully created you. I created you to be both pastoral and administrative to do things, think things, dream things that others cannot. Stop making your uniqueness fight against itself, stop feeling like you have to choose. Utilize your diversity. Engage both lenses together to see in ways that others cannot.
Just like Tris, the main character in Divergent, I wasn’t made to choose one “faction” but instead God made me to be Divergent, to be a part of it all. To think and reason and dream differently than others.
I am not a mistake. My different wiring is not an obstacle to overcome but a filter to view life differently. God has equipped me to see depth and dimension that neither admin nor pastoral by themselves can see.
God’s word to me:
You are altogether beautiful my love – your admin thinking and pastoral heart – there is no flaw within you.
Song of Solomon 4:7