-Rev Melissa Fain-
For the next month or so I'm going to shine the light on myself. I'm doing this because all of us within the church are guilty, and someone has to be the example for others. Part of embracing God's grace, is admitting our fallibleness.
I'm going to draw heavily my childhood during these first few meditations..
I know there is something forgivable about the actions of a child. For me, those actions shaped who I would later become. That's what makes them so important. All of us have those formative moments, but not all of us are confident enough in ourselves or God to admit them.
When I was in elementary school, I craved positive attention. I wanted someone, anyone, to pat me on the back and say, "Great job, Melissa!" Therefore, I looked for that opportunity wherever I could.
It was when I was at Church Camp that I finally jumped at an opportunity. It was a long time ago, so the memory has become a little fuzzy. We were in our cabins for the night. Many of us were just hanging in the middle living room area, when (I think) a girl fell out of her bunk bed. The counselor went to help her, but she was having trouble getting first aid on the walkies.
I jumped into action! Melissa Russell, to the rescue!
The counselors could no sooner yell, "No! Stop!" before I was running down the gravel path in a rush to get to the nurse.
No, if it were just a gravel path, it would have probably had been just fine. I would have ran safely to the nurse. This was no ordinary gravel path. This was the gravel path of doom!
There were these wooden beams that ran across it, and were equally spaced. They jutted up, grabbing poor children's ankles; pulling them to the callous ground. (At least that's how my 4th grade mind viewed it.)
That night, trying to save the day, one of those jutting wood slabs caught me, and I fell hard, leaving big scraps on my elbow and knee.
The counselors were smart. They knew in my zeal, they couldn't stop me. Instead, they sent someone to go with me. When I kissed the gravel, he was there to help me walk painfully to the nurse.
It turned out the girl that fell from her bunk was just fine. No more than a little wounded pride. Me, on the other hand, was all bandaged up in my attempt to do something good.
The problem: I was being selfish, looking for a way to make myself look better. In this foolish quest, I made things worse instead of better.
What I learned: Things that are done for selfish gain often have negative consequences. I now try to focus on the need instead of myself. Unless it's clear that I'm the one who is the most qualified, I ask the most qualified how I can help.