What a title, right? I spend most of time writing about the wonderful aspects of my life here so that I can remember those moments in the years to come. But occasionally, I realize that should my children or grandchildren read these entries decades from now, they won’t be getting the full picture if I only ever share the good. While I choose to focus on the positive, it’s certainly fair to say that there are struggles of being a missionary. Like everything else, it’s a mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I like to read articles from People magazine online. Don’t ask why. Do I think it’s necessary to know when Kim Kardashian goes to the grocery store? No, not particularly. But in some ways, maybe checking out these ridiculous headlines makes me feel a little more connected to American culture from afar. Nonetheless, recently I have started reading the comments people leave on these articles. If you want to know what the deterioration of society looks like, check out what people have to say on things that don’t even matter. Go find the most heartwarming story you can drum up on People.com and read the first twenty comments. Someone is bound to say something bitter and nasty no matter what the article is on. I guess I could understand if maybe it were an article on infidelity, bullying, or any other topic that upsets people. But anything will set some of these whackadoos off. One of my personal favorites is “Who cares?” yet they took the time to read the article and comment on it.
I guess I should get on with the point because random people’s idiotic comments on an article are not actually what plague me. The reason I mention all of that is because I recently read a piece about Kate Middleton. Talk about a woman who has done nothing to deserve all the hatred flung her way. What took me by surprise in browsing the commentary was that an unbelievable number of people in the world think that she loves the attention and wants to be in the headlines nonstop. Really? It reminded me of myself and of my life here. Yes I know I am not royalty or internationally known. Just hear me out. Sometimes people make assumptions about the positions others land in without ever knowing a thing about it.
Too many people to count at this point have made comments about me being in charge here. From what I gather, it’s rarely said in a negative way, but that it’s just what people assume whether good, bad, or indifferent. One of the things that eat away at me is when someone actually thinks that I have this desire to be in control of everything. Here’s the thing, I never asked to be head honcho here. I’m not even saying that I am, because it’s certainly not a self-proclaimed thought. I cannot help it that every single issue that comes up comes to me. If a teacher needs to leave early one day or recreation guy is upset with the ministry staff using equipment at night and not putting it away, I will hear about it. I’m here 24/7 and by default on-call 24/7. But to the people out there that actually think I want to be in control of everything, I would love to say what makes you think that I asked for this? I no more asked to be the person in charge here than Kate Middleton asked to be in the headlines over wearing the same outfit twice.
There are people that want the power and control, I’m just not one of them. What everyone has to understand is that with great power comes great responsibility. I can’t tell whether I’m quoting Voltaire or FDR, but rest assured, I’m not quoting Spiderman. Can I handle the power and responsibility? You better believe it. I think life would be a thousand times easier if people who could handle the power and responsibility just stepped up to the plate and took it. Those that couldn’t handle it could just step out of the way. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. I think it’s completely commendable to admit that you don’t want to be the person responsible for everything. Being able to handle it and asking for it are two different things though. I feel as though so much of the time, there are people that really want the power and have little to no understanding of all that comes with it. But, man, do they want it! Sometimes, I want the critics to walk a mile in my shoes. Want to make the decisions around here? Great, go for it. It ain’t all fun and games. Just wait until someone doesn’t agree with one of the decisions you make. I’ve learned beau coups about what it means to try and make everyone happy and fail miserably. I’ve never been a people-pleaser kind of person, but something about working full time at this mission has consistently made me feel like there’s more at stake. That’s why I try so hard to keep it all running smoothly all while doing what’s right. Do I always succeed? Not at all, not even close. But I fully understand that to whom much is given, much is expected. Whether I asked for the responsibility that I have or not, God has put me in this position and I am doing the best I can. I make decisions here for what is best for this mission and the people that are a part of it because I know that’s what God expects of me.
As I said, most people who are commenting on how I run things here are mainly referencing the positive ways that I hold things together. I will forever be grateful for the kind words and encouragement from people like that. But this isn’t real life or an accurate reflection of my life if I never talk about the challenges of being here in this position that I am in. So there ya have it folks! Things that plague me!
By the way, I was considering going with the phrase “Things that Grind My Gears” as my title but then realized that the terribly annoying phrase itself happens to grind my gears!