Unmasking the illusion of indispensability

I was talking with a young woman this week who was asking for my help in consulting her ministry leadership team. On and on I went - touting my experience and how I could help. What I really felt was that I needed to learn from her - she and her young contemporaries are starting a non-profit ministry to prostitutes. Now that is far more impressive than my blah, blah, blah.

Nouwen writes about how our abiding with Christ in wordless adoration helps “unmask the illusion of busyness, usefulness, and indispensability. It is a way of being empty and useless in the presence of God and of proclaiming our basic belief that all is grace and nothing is simply the result of hard work." Similarly, Evelyn Underhill says that adoration does a "disentangling" work. I have so much disentangling and unmasking to receive.

I have been taught to be indispensable because the sound of being dispensable (unnecessary, not needed, can be done away with) isn’t so appealing to my flesh. But it is not mine to choose – this being dispensable or indispensable. It is mine to choose to be obedient and the fruit of obedience is not even mine to choose (John 15:8, 16). This unselfing is good – it is what I long for. Here’s to the ongoing disentangling of my "self."

Paula GambleComment