And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. – Ephesians 4:11-16
Have you seen “The Social Network,” the movie chronicling the story of Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of Facebook? It is an interesting film on many levels, but my interest was piqued in the first scene of the film. Zuckerberg is sitting in a bar with his about to be ex-girlfriend Erica Albright. The conversation could best be described as painful. She is trying to make polite conversation and then a point with him. Conversely, he responds to her in quick, condescending tones that seem to control and belittle. It may be that he is just wired differently, but we don’t know the character well enough to be certain. As the conversation deteriorates, the following exchange takes place.
Mark Zuckerberg: Come on, you don’t have to study, you don’t have to study. Let’s just talk.
Erica Albright: I can’t.
Mark Zuckerberg: Why?
Erica Albright: Because it is exhausting, dating you is like dating you a stairmaster.
In and of itself – that’s a great line. What a clever way for Erica to capture the moment and gain a modicum of control in the conversation. Most people watch that scene and think to themselves, “Atta girl! He had that one coming.” And to be honest, I don’t disagree. However, I heard it and found myself experiencing a déjà vu moment as I recognized that I’ve heard that comment before.
“Talking to you is exhausting.” I hadn’t ever realized that until it was brought to my attention, but I guess I find the statement to be true. My mind is one that struggles to stay in the moment when looking at an issue. I tend to wander forward, playing out scenarios that may happen two, three, or seventeen steps down the road. I always considered it a way to be thorough when making a decision. Others consider it an annoying way of complicating life needlessly.
Maybe it’s just a spoken word thing, something doesn’t translate into the written word. Then again maybe not.I remember the first piece of feedback my blogging/devotional writing received…
“You are verbose. Be pithy!”
I appreciated the comment. I realize that some platforms are better short and succinct. But for others, I felt I was speaking from the heart, sharing my thoughts in ways that were honest and complete. And if it takes me a while to get there, it doesn’t mean that I can spend an entire hour defining the subtle nuances of the word “the.”
I can’t do that – I promise. Made it 52 minutes and just ran out of ideas…
Please understand the purpose behind this isn’t to grouse about criticism. I welcome the perspectives that other people share with me, especially when the person providing it is someone I respect, whose faith leads them to help me improve. But it is curious to see how some comments designed to change us are just that – attempts to change us. And to what end? To make us more palatable to those people around us? To make us more like them? As I see it, there is little value in doing so. I am who God made me. For example, I have a memory that traps details lost by many others in the same situation. I’ve been told that level of recall is creepy – but when that same person wants to find something or to have their story confirmed, the creepiness suddenly turns useful. I’ve been told I’m verbose, but by stretching out ideas and thoughts, I am blessed with the opportunity to provide myself and others with different perspectives to take from what I say and write. And besides, I’m not the one responsible for this anyway.
As Ephesians 4 reminds us, we were made with specific gifts to be used for specific purposes to further God’s Kingdom. As He created me, God knew I would be here today. He knew what I would encounter as I reached this point and He made sure that I had what I was supposed to have to be ready to serve His purposes. We can place our connotations on the descriptors, but the truth is clear. God made me this way and I will embrace it. For those who needed to hear the message, I pray that you will be empowered to develop confidence in yourself, knowing that God knew what He was doing when He created you. And for those who find my message tiring, I praise Him for the chance to help you rest.