I made up my mind. I intended to quit. It was a volunteer situation, and I had been doing the job for a while. Although I began with high expectations, as time went on I felt more and more like a failure. I had no idea how to motivate those whose efforts I depended upon. Meanwhile, it seemed that our work benefited no one. So, I notified the appropriate people and I quit.
Relief flooded down over me as I closed that door and determined to focus on the other things before me. At least, that is just what I expected to happen. It didn’t. Instead of relief, I felt at odds with myself. I had made the right choice, hadn’t I? It wasn’t that I had a problem with the person asked to take my place. In fact, I intended to recommend her. But something just wasn’t right.
It took no time at all for me to see that the person asked to replace me felt the same way. She wanted to take the position, but something just did not feel right…until the two of us "by chance" ran into each other and started to talk it out.
As we talked, I listed all of the things I enjoyed about the job. Her eyes showed her distaste for those things. Then I expressed what I lacked. Her face lit up, and immediately she rattled off half a dozen ideas that never would have occurred to me! The answer was clear. We had to be a team.
Fortunately, this situation allowed the two of us to come to that conclusion and set a course for partnership. Others will join this partnership, and I believe that as a team we will enjoy beautiful success with this project and others. Individually, though, none of us could have made it happen. Individually we would have ended up overly burdened and ultimately unsuccessful.
The more I grow spiritually, the more I realize just how much I must rely on the body of Christ. The individualistic mentality that consumes our culture must be fought against. We do not simply perform independent tasks that line up with our strengths and then bring the finished product to the body. We must work together on each task! I might have a great idea and be able to accomplish the task well from beginning to end. But, there will always be something that I will miss that could make the completed product not just good but absolutely marvelous! I do not know or notice everything. And eventually, if I continue to push along doing the same thing all by myself, I will begin to know that the activity and the product are incomplete. I just won’t have a clue what to do about it…until I talk to you and you easily think of all of the ideas that would never occur to me.
I have that relief that I expected to flow over me before. It came not from quitting but from becoming a team. What has you discouraged today? Where do you need help? Sometimes, it is true, we need to quit. But other times we just need to stop doing it by ourselves. We need a team. We need the body.