There is much debate nowadays as to whether we should be a ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ nation or if we are becoming a socialist nation. I’m sure the answer is probably somewhere in between, but at this point, I’m really not interested in getting involved in the politics of the situation. What I do see is that people seem more inclined to expect others to do something for them without a lot of personal responsibility. I saw this some in the classroom when I was a teacher. Students seemed less inclined to study, but had higher expectations for me as a teacher to provide for them and accommodate them. As is the case for most teachers, this was often very frustrating.
What makes it frustrating is that I’m much more of a ‘bootstrap’ kind of person. I see asking for help as a sign of weakness and/or failure, so I almost never do it, even to the point of risking personal injury. Maybe it’s a guy thing, but the reality is that it’s a sin thing. There are two really interesting verses in Galatians 6. Verse 2 talks about “bearing one another’s burdens,” but verse 5 says, “each will have to bear his own load.” It almost sounds like some type of contradiction, but I think it helps to define the line between asking for help and personal responsibility. I wish I could draw my picture that I use to explain the passage, but I think the general idea is that everyone should be bearing their own burden as they can, but if we are all working together, sometimes the load might shift around to take the pressure off the one that is struggling to bear his own load. We never shirk our responsibilty, but as the body of CHRIST, we work together to take care of each other.
For me right now the application of this is in trying to do a better job in learning to ask for help. I know that what goes on at Marannook is way beyond me, and I’m learning that I have to do what I can to mobilize the body of CHRIST to better accomplish what the LORD wants to do here. I struggle with asking others for help, but I’m now in a situation where I have no choice. I might have been able to ‘fake it’ for the first part of my life, but this situation is so big. I’m learning to trust GOD and even to trust people, which is where this takes on a whole new application for me. I have to trust people in several areas. One area is that I have to be okay admitting I need help and trust that those around me will not think I am weak or have failed. Sure, I know that we are all weak in the sense that we need JESUS, but it’s hard to have to admit our limitations to another person. I also have to learn to trust people when they say they want to help. I hate being a burden to others, so I’m inclined to not ask for help because I don’t want to waste their time or resources. I know others are busy, so I keep things to myself, but I am gradually learning to believe that others really want to help, especially in areas where I know I need it the most. I have been greatly encouraged already at offers people have given me to help with recruiting and camp promotion. I have to trust them that they really want to help and are not simply feeling sorry for me.
This leads me to something that I am really hoping to grow in and that is what I mentioned before about learning how to be a part of mobilizing the body of CHRIST. I know now that I am in a position where I need a lot of people with strengths I don’t have to come in and do what they do best to make Marannook work. Part of this is the process of delegation and being okay with others taking responsibility. I know it’s part of my job to even go out and find people and resources that can be used for GOD’s glory at Marannook. This is so big because that means that I not only allow others to help, but I have to learn to ask others to help. Some people don’t mind helping, but may not volunteer as easily. I have to trust GOD to provide, and I have to trust others to be honest with me when I ask. As a general blanket statement, then I ask you to be honest with me because I have to start asking more and more. That’s part of what I am responsible for now, and you have to be honest with me as I am ‘learning to ask.’