My apologies for missing a post last week. I've gotten into a groove making sure that I get something up on the blog every week and I feel badly when I miss. I've got several ideas perking around in my head ready to pour forth in the near future so maybe I can make up for it.
The reason I missed is camp. The run up to camp always feels like a death by a thousand cuts. My office is stacked with boxes as I try to remember to bring everything this year (hasn't happened yet. If I call home during the first couple days of camp my wife answers the phone with "What did you forget?"), my desk is littered with applications, health forms, scholarship forms, notes, phone messages, bills, contracts and I'm not sure what all else. At any given moment I'll have a dozen different thoughts clamoring for attention in my brain and the fevered certainty that I'm going to forget the most important one, or three, or five. Camp is a great experience and I really enjoy it at many levels but it exhausts me starting weeks before the event. (In fact I should be working on camp stuff right now. There are, let me check... 10 applications sitting on my desk, a phone message about a camper who indicated the wrong camp on her application, minutes from three meetings I need to type up, packages of materials that need to be assembled and sent to the staff of the first camp. Which is coming up in 10 days. I expect to be huddled under my desk giggling before 3 this afternoon)
I do have a little better grip on the "WHY" of this phenomenon today. On Monday I worked through a gifts discernment process that was pretty cool. We used "The 3 Colors of Ministry" by Christian Schwarz. What I discovered is that I do NOT have the gift of organization. This surely comes as no surprise to several of my previous employers and my wife's response to the news was a snort. Not in the top five, nor even the top ten. I tested out with organization in the lower half in fact. We were taught that doesn't mean I can't learn organizational skills just that I don't have a(and never will) gift for it. In fact I've kind of known that all along. My life became easier as I created spreadsheets to coordinate all the information that comes in. I have routines I use and I've learned to WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN!. But it's still hard. I enjoy blue skying new events, I enjoy defining the outlines of how to do them, and working on the underlying theology and philosophy. In the end someone has to get down to the nitty gritty details. And the joy just flees for me. I grind away at it, procrastinate about it until I get behind and then I get angry and frustrated.
So I need to stop writing this and get to it. There's only 10 days left. Plus after this camp is our national youth gathering and I have things to prepare for it. Then there's another camp, followed by two camps in the same week. That's a lot of details waiting for me. Thousands more cuts still to come.
What gifts did I test out with? Top five are: Artistic/Creative, Teaching, Knowledge (the ability to develop new ideas that are useful to the church), Wisdom (the ability to apply what comes from Knowledge in real life terms), and Apostle (the gift of leadership on a larger scale). Not a bad set of gifts for a youth missioner. We also looked at the "latent" gifts, those that are sort of just bubbling under the surface and can be strengthened. They are Craftsmanship (working with my hands) Shepherding(the gift of making a long term commitment to a group), Leadership (curiously 68% of folks who have this gift also have the gift of Organization!), Evangelism, and Music.
So when I get a moment I'll think some more about these gifts. In the meantime there's some work to be done.