I used to live by this motto, “I can handle it!” I learned some painful, and often times not short lived, lessons. I can handle it turned into wow, I don’t have money to fix this; or how can I get out of this without people finding out. I had a family filled with people who could fix things, build things, and find solutions…but I didn’t fit the bill.
It wasn’t until I found my niche. Turns out, I’m really good at troubleshooting computer and networking issues. Yes, I went to school for it. Yes, I enjoyed it. But there was just something about the way that I approached the problem that was different than most PC techs. I attribute it to my many failed attempts at working on cars with my Dad. He’s not the best teacher, and when it comes to certain things, I need to hear the instructions more than once. Needless to say, he didn’t appreciate saying them more than once.
One thing that I did get from him is to start at the root, or base components, and move from there. In a car, there’s fuel, compression, and electricity. It won’t start…does it get power, does it get gas, does it have compression? In computers, there’s a few more things, but as we’re all used to the jokes…is it on and have you rebooted it?
When it comes to computer issues, I get calls, a lot of calls. A bit of the time it’s people asking advice. Many companies refuse to give advice without a sale, but I think that if I treat a person right, they’ll come back when they need more than just advice. (FYI, I’ve now been doing this for almost 7 years…I think it’s working). People call when they know they can’t handle it on their own anymore. Does that make them dumb or weak? No. It makes them smart. They understand their limitations and don’t make things worse by trying to do things on their own.
So why does so much of our society view these people as stupid and weak? Probably because they are following a biblical model for life. Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 11:14, Proverbs 15:22, and more talk about how plans prosper with counsel, and plans fail without it. Wisdom is gained by asking questions, and listening to (or watching) the answers. There’s something to be said about the saying a fool speaks and the wise listens.
Obviously this concept is important in the “real world” with examples of cars and computers thrown out there, but does this have anything to do with spirituality? Yes, yes it does. For example, before my wife and I even started working on the basis for this church plant that we’re now doing, we prayed and talked to several other pastors, friends, and non-partial people. We got a lot of great advice, and some not so great advice. That’s the funny thing about asking people for spiritual advice, you can ask 10 people the same question and get 10 totally different answers…even if they’re all pastors. Usually it’ll be “yada, yada, yada, and pray about it” but the yada’s are all different. I heard “why Nampa? They have great churches already.” “Go for it!” “Make sure you really pray about it.” “I think you would be good at this.” “About time.” “Make sure you don’t do ‘church’ as usual.”
All good things to hear, and if you really think about them, they all basically correlate. No one said “This isn’t for you.” Some people questioned the location, but that was something God made abundantly clear to me. I have had advice from pastors on other topics where it wasn’t so clear. On said no and two others said yes. How do you weigh things out?
Here’s your Sunday school answer…pray about it. Some say to weigh the pro’s and con’s, some say “follow your heart” which is by far the worst advice any Christian can give – the Bible makes it clear that the heart has evil desires (Jeremiah 17:9), some say take some time to “sleep on it.” I say, pray on it and sleep on it. Make the decision when you have a clear head to think with. God gave us our minds, not so that we would ignore them, but so that we would use them. Think it over, and ask God to make it clear. And if that doesn’t work, pick a path and go. There’s a good book on this called “Just Do Something” by Kevin DeYoung
Get out there, get some advice, and go make a difference in the world for the kingdom of God. Cheers!