So this is a prayer journal response to a prompt from the leadership devotion “Ambition Crippler” by Richard Doebler. The devotion leads in:
“One of the first steps on the road to fulfilling God’s call on our life is to grapple with our past relationships, our past failures, and where we are today in our relationships with God and others. Many have and continue to miss this important step in preparation for a life of ministry. Our disappointments, failures, and relational histories can corrode our journey toward our calling. Sure, we want to make a difference with our lives. But before we can develop a healthy ambition and a passion for God’s purpose for us, before we can set our sights on a God-honoring, God-leading success, we’ve got to deal with the baggage of our humanity.”
This is more than likely not true for everyone because we all know that God can employ the least likely among us, to accomplish the most stupendous of feats for His namesake. Amen. For example, the the author gives a brief account of Mose’s protests, feelings of inadequacy, and past failures before eventually bowing to God’s call to become a leader.
I, however, happen to be one of those people that Doebler’s quote would appropriately apply to. Because of this I am completely submitted to the curriculum and processes of the Personal Foundation for Spiritual Formation required by my graduate emphasis. That is to say, I have been so far. I am not equipped with any foreknowledge that would lead me to believe that I should not be submitted to the spiritual authority of my professors. Truth be known, all the challenges of the courses excite me in a good way. Especially considering the fact that I am nearly forty years old and did not surrender my life to Christ lordship until seven and half years ago. I have some baggage that needs a proper sorting through. You know what I am saying? You know what I am saying.
I am all the more grateful for God’s grace preserving me as much as it has, considering the relational climates that I have tempered “disposition.” Ugh. I am “seasoned” to say the least. Beyond that, poor decision making skills, abusing alcohol, and drug addictions have left me with my fair share of disappointments, failures, and relational histories that could, potentially, corrode the journey toward my calling. That freaking stinks.
So then, here I am in spiritual formation courses being examined by a, in my opinion, God-honoring combination of theology and psychology. I am yielded to the specific objectives of Spiritual Formation 503 (the course I am currently in):
- explore and form a Theology of Human Relationship.
- chronicle the manner in which my personal psychological relationship within my Family of Origin have affected my spiritual formation within the Family of God
- become informed as to how the patterns of sin/psychopathology impact human development, considering such areas as Attachment, gender relations, romance, marriage, singleness, parenting, sexuality, etc.
- began to understand the implications of Theology/Psychology of Relationships for church leadership/pastoring and ministry within the Church.
My desire is to grow to be a wise and spirit filled ambassador of God’s throne.
My standing prayer request is that I would learn from my past failures and how best to cultivate a fruitful future (relationships, ministry, and otherwise) with that knowledge.
Any insights on the matter? Responses are welcome.