This morning in my home, I saw this tiny spider with two strands of a highly ambitious web from the floor to the ceiling (our ceilings are 20 feet high!). It just hung there; I think kind of exhausted. Not sure what it had bitten off and contemplating what to do next. Once it got started, it didn't know where to stop.
I owed it a debt because it made me think of me in all those times I get in over my head. I just came out of one of those times. I take on things I really shouldn't. I do too much. I work on the wrong things. And I get overwhelmed.
Maybe you do that, too...oh, yeah, you're in ministry. Of course you do that sometimes!
Let me tell you what I've figured out that motivates me to get in over my head. I like to rescue people...and the reason why? I've got this odd "hero complex" that I hope when I save the day, everyone will applaud me and ultimately like me. (My friend who does the same thing does it because she's afraid of failure.)
In one of these "I'm doing too much times," I had a VP here tell me how he'd told the president of the company how heroic I'd acted. "Stop!" I told him. "You're feeding the monster!"
To climb out of the pit I dig for myself, I have to cut off the sick monster's need to be fulfilled with accolades. I have to acknowledge that I'm making decisions for the wrong reasons. I have to let things fail.
And, in the end, you know what? I get healthier and so does the team. Hmmm...who would've thought? I think that's why God sent that little tired spider into our living room this morning. To remind me--and you maybe--that it's ok to hold up a white flag and admit that whatever you're doing isn't working. It's okay to quit rescuing. Or leading a program. Or doing a project. Especially if your sick monster is motivating you--instead of the right reasons.
By the way, I didn't have the heart to kill the spider (now it'll probably bite me when it grows up!).