05 November 2008

Are You Afraid of Being Amazing?

When I pre-ordered Mad Church Disease I had no idea that it would send shivers down my spine three months before Amazon.com shipped it to my office.

I downloaded a free chapter from MCD last month, but I didn't read it right away. In fact, I didn't read it until Tuesday morning at about 1:30am. The chapter, as a whole, is amazing and it really got me pumped for February when I can read the whole book!

As I was reading about "Processing Through Pain," Anne quoted Penelope Trunk as saying, "People are afraid of being amazing." (173) This statement leapt off the page at me, hit me square in the jaw, and then came back around and punched me in the nose!

I can't tell you how many times I have been afraid to be amazing. I don't even want to think about the missed opportunities in my life because I didn't want to "shine too much" or "stand out from the crowd." It makes me sick just thinking about it.

Penelope's statement brought up two questions:
1) Why are we so afraid of being amazing?
2) What would happen if we all unleashed the amazing-ness we have inside?

I believe that I have been afraid to be amazing because I have not wanted other people to feel bad about themselves in areas of ministry or life that I naturally excelled in. Even deeper, I think that I have also been reluctant to invest extra effort in some areas of ministry because I knew that the extra effort would move me beyond ordinary to extraordinary. Kinda self-defeating, huh?

If we truly unleashed the amazing-ness we have hard-wired into us from our Creator, we would tear down the walls of injustice, rid the world of life-threatening diseases, and bring "up there, down here" (as Mark Beeson likes to say). It would be awesome!

Are you afraid of being amazing? Why?


Anne Jackson said...

Wow! I know...her comment punched me in the face. I look forward to seeing you in April. Still gotta do some paperwork for that, but I love procrastinating. :)

Rev_DeanL said...

I was wondering if I had missed the contract for that...good to know that I am not the only one who puts off today what can be done tomorrow (or the next day)!

Allie88 said...

Okay so my mom came home the other day and told me that she had something that she wanted me to read. So she hands me this stack of papers that she says she came upon while reading through your blog(see there is someone else that reads it). So I sit down to read this thing that she has handed me and at the top of the paper it says Chapter 11, Processing through Pain. So I tell her about how you had talked about this at staff meeting the other day and I begin to read it. Well I couldn't put it down. Now I knew some of what it would be talking about since you had talked about it but I didn't realize how much of it would apply to me. I know that I may be young but I have had to deal with some of the things that it talked about in the chapter and it really hit home with me. The part about learning to forgive people when they hurt you even when they don't offer up an apology was truly amazing. I have struggled with that concept for a long time in my life and it was refreshing to read about another person having the same emotions that I have had. I can't wait to be able to read the rest of the book because if it is as amazing as this one chapter then it definitly will be worth the read.

Karla Rush said...

I read through the "Processing Through Pain" excerpt, and it was very interesting. I cannot wait to read this whole book, and also to hear Anne speak! I think IT will be amazing!

When I read the "Processing Through Pain" - it made me think about my own situation with a family member who belittles me and inundates me with negative talk about me being in ministry - I need to forgive...I'm working on it. I think if I can let this pain go - I can be free. Perhaps then the amazing part can happen!

Stephanie said...

Yay to the UUMC staff for preparing, serving and cleaning up the AMAZING Thanksgiving meal last night! It was delicious. And it was a treat to see so many people having a great time together.