This morning I was contrasting my days now with my days last year at this time. From there I wandered into musing:
I wonder why my gifts of administration are what people focus on, when living the life of administration eats away my energy?
By “gifts of administration,” I’m referring to spiritual gifts (this linked site looks useful enough even if theologically not fully aligned). They’re also talents of mine, to an extent, though I clearly remember learning many of my administrative skills from my mother. She taught them to me so I could defend myself from overwhelm (cue image of Sadness from Inside Out).
Ironic that I got so good at the skills that protect me that I ended up in roles that dropped me down in the deep end of overwhelm! Teaching, systems administration and exec-ing are non-pausing positions that care for (are responsible for) many other people’s work-lives…when I was a network manager, I used to feel as if I could hear the voices of my to-do items wherever I went. When I was exec-ing, I started watching TV every evening because I was too drained for books but still needed to push away those voices. I burned out as a middle school teacher in two months.
When I take a spiritual gifts inventory, I come up with bells ringing for administration. And teaching, and knowledge. But somehow it’s the “the special ability that God gives for understanding clearly the immediate and long-range goals of a particular unit of the Body of Christ and the ability to devise and execute effective plans for the accomplishment of these goals” that draws everyone’s attention. Not my gifts with words and images, my talent in explaining things clearly (c.f. knowledge), or even my musical abilities. What is it about that particular skillset???
And what is it about me that I have to arm myself against something I’m good at? That’s the lesson I have so far, anyway.
Why in heaven’s name did God make me like this?
Yeah, I know. Work of a lifetime, to puzzle that question out.