Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Who, me? - A look at Moses Syndrome

Last weekend, The Warrior Dash came to Tennessee. If you don't already know about it, imagine a 5K with obstacles like barbed wire hurdles, walls of fire, mud pits, etc. When you get the the end of the race, after having a fire truck hose you down, you get a 32 ounce mug of beer and a giant turkey leg to reward yourself. My company chose this as our yearly team build, and I loved it. Can you tell?

That's me getting sick air over one of the fire walls.

Here's one of me after crawling through mud under barbed wire. Jogging shorts aside, my Finnish ancestors may have looked like this.

Before this race, I had a terrible feeling I was going to embarrass myself, what with never exercising and all. But I felt great. Turns out I kind of like running. When my mom called to ask me about it the next day, I told her, "I expected it to be a lot worse, but I think I could really do well next time if I actually trained."

Then Mom said a very mom-like thing. "You've always been stronger than you think." It's one thing to hear this from someone like Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid. I'd probably nod my head without saying a word and continue to catch flies with chopsticks. But coming from Mom, this sort of stuff can still make a guy react like a junior high kid afraid his friends will overhear.

So I fought it. "Nah," hoping a simple dismissal would move the conversation along.

"It's true!" She said, dismissing my dismissal. "I saw you outrun all the athletes on the obstacle course in high school."

My next defense? I fought it. "Yeah, but that was back in high school. And those kids were smokers." This was, of course, a lame defense, since I had only just quit smoking for the second time back then.

Here's what I don't understand. In some settings, I act like the greatest guy in the room, but I act like a nobody when other people compliment me. When I play with the Summer County at some bar, I throw myself into the show. When my pastor asked me to join the rotation of worship leaders for our two campuses, I honestly wondered if I was the right person to ask.

Hesitation is a real problem, guys. And it's nothing new.

Burning Bush: "Moses, I want you to lead my people out of Egypt. You are now my official ambassador."
Moses: "Um, are you sure?"

Voice of God: "Jeremiah, I want you to prophecy to the King and all the people in Judah. You're just the guy I want for the job."
Jeremiah: "But I don't even have a degree, Lord. I'm just a kid."

Angel of the Lord: "Hey, Gid, God wants you to raise an army and overthrow your oppressors."
Gideon: "I'm a part of the weakest tribe and I'm hiding out in my dad's barn. Have you got the right guy? You'll have to give me a sign or something."

I wonder what it was that made Moses or Jeremiah or Gideon balk when God called them great men. Some people have a christ complex and think they're the saviors of the world. Other people have Moses Syndrome. But God saw something in these three guys. I mean, shoot, He created something in them. Think about it.

Does God ever have unreasonable expectations? Is it ever really possible for Him to be disappointed?

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