Looking for an Executive Assistant

Posted: January 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

When I first came to Memphis to help plant our church life was pretty simple, I mean after all we had twenty-six people meeting on Sunday night’s in a living room, it just doesn’t get any simpler than that.  However, as the years have gone by and the church has grown from a living room to three services across two locations (and in the midst of opening up a third location), the pace of life has sped up drastically.  This in addition to a demanding travel schedule, and a family who needs to be lead and cared for, caused me to desperately seek someone who would help me to manage my life well.  In other words, I hired an executive assistant.

I’ll never forget my first meeting with her.  I thought she was going to laugh out loud when I opened up by telling her that I’m pretty much an idiot.  Sure I can do some things well, complex things like preaching and leading, but pretty much that’s the extent of my “range”.  Just the other day I called my wife who happened to be out of town sharing a hotel room with my mother, begging her for directions on how to operate the coffee machine.  I had poured the coffee grounds directly into the “whatever you call it,” without a filter, and didn’t add enough water.  Korie and my mother laughed so hard I think I got offended.  So it wasn’t hyperbole when I told my soon to be executive assistant during the interview that I really am an idiot.  And once she got over the shock of such vulnerability, and started working with me she discovered, like every person who really is close to me, that I actually am!

In one of our meetings when she first began working with me we were discussing an upcoming preaching trip that I was taking.  She was anxious to hear exactly what information she needed to provide for me since this is a pretty regular part of my life.  I told her that the only thing I need to be able to focus on is preaching the gospel, everything else from what airline, to who drops me back off at the airport (and everything in between) she needs to provide.  I’ll be in England soon, and she knows that I will even need walking directions from where the public transportation will drop me off, to my dorm room (which by the way she told me is a 2 1/2 block walk).  She’s turned out to be quite the pro at helping me.

See, anyone with an assistant, and gosh I don’t say this to demean anyone in that position, will tell you that they exist to simplify our lives.  They book flights, schedule meetings and handle correspondence so that we can focus on what we need to do.  Boil an admin’s job description down and it’s to make life easy and simple for their employer.

I think I can sometimes treat God as if He’s my executive assistant.  Life gets a little complicated and God hears from me.  Find yourself in a jam, like I did the other day when I missed my connection in Salt Lake City, and God gets a “telephone call” with us asking Him to simplify our lives by bailing us out. Is there anything wrong in praying to God when I’m in a pinch?  Not at all, there’s example after example of this in the Bible of godly men and women doing this, just read the Psalms.

But the problem comes when God exists to facilitate your agenda and not the other way around.  See, my assistant really only hears from me when I need her to do something for me (and rightly so when you’re dealing with a male/female dynamic).  While she’s a vital part of a segment of my life, she’s hardly the center.  And if anyone has an assistant who fails to help them meet their agenda you may want to think about finding a new one.

Ever found yourself frustrated with God?  Close to giving up on Him?  Is it because you see Him as an executive assistant, and when He fails to meet your agenda you look to exchange God for someone or something else?  Needless to say God doesn’t work for us, we work for Him.  He’s not interested in assisting us.  He wants to instead work His agenda through us as we assist Him.

  1. Lolita Selix says:

    Wow once again…….guilty guilty guilty …..Lord forgive me for really treating you as if you work me !!!! I make myself available to be at your beckon call!!!! And not the other way around!

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