Last week was our last week of Awana, where I’ve been volunteering as a Sparks leader for the last 9 months. I received a sweet e-mail from one of the directors, asking me if I would stand up at the Awards Ceremony and give a little speech about what it’s like to be a leader.
Let me be clear. Stand up in front of, you know, people. Not just little Sparkies, but all of Awana, and the parents. We have a large church, and a good sized Awana group. Therefore, a lot of eyes would be trained on me.
I stared at the screen. And blinked. Then blinked some more. The first thing that I thought of, was, that the only thing right off the top of my head that I could say would be along the lines of:
OH, THANK GOD IT’S OVER! THAT WAS A LONG 9 MONTHS. I DIDN’T THINK I WOULD MAKE IT. BUT, WOO HOO, NO CHILDREN WERE MAIMED OR INJURED UNDER MY CARE!!!!
And then fear set in. How could I possible agree to this? We all know that I tend to say really inappropriate things when I’m nervous. And, if I’m really really scared, I curse. Not a lot. Just one or two words. But they are really bad two dollar words. Fiddledaddy knows this as fact, and has taken to scaring me just for the chuckle. (Never when the children are present….he knows better.)
He says, while tears are shooting from his eyes, that it’s like a rare form of terets that I have. The cursing when scared. And it never fails to amuse him.
This could be really really bad at, say, a church event. In front of a microphone. And Christians.
I’m pretty crazy about this church, and would hate to have to find a new one.
So, I prayed about the situation. And once again, I felt God nudging me out of my comfort zone. Public speaking is definitely a county over from my comfort arena.
So, I said “yes.” Because that’s what crazy people do.
I had about a day to prepare. Which was just enough time to obsess and freak out. And what do I say?
These people in leadership at my church know me. Some have admitted they read the blog. They know what I’m capable of. And yet, they still speak to me.
Which just goes to show you that the brother and sisterly Christian love in this church knows no bounds.
So, I sat behind my keyboard (where I’m right at home) on the day of the program, and wrote a little speech. As you might well imagine, it was sprinkled with a bit of humor.
About how, for example, looking at the leadership pool at the beginning of the year, as opposed to now, we began to resemble “Survivor” more than Awana.
Cue the crickets.
And how if I could be a leader, anyone could do it, because as long as at evenings end, no one was bleeding, and I ended up with the same number of children that I started with, I thought I was doing a good job.
A pin dropped somewhere in the back of the house.
I’m exaggerating a bit. I know. That’s unusual for me. While a good majority of the audience (mostly the men folk) did not get my sense of humor at all, which I could sense from their puzzled faces, the women did. And they chuckled appropriately.
Which is what counts. I’m the voice of the women folk.
Fortunately, a bit later in the program, they scheduled another speaker who was very eloquent and knew a lot of scripture which she quoted liberally.
It is Awana, after all. So, I don’t think I stunk up the room too badly. The evening was redeemed.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
It is no coincidence, but that is my children’s favorite verse.
Will God continue to nudge me out of my comfort zone? I’m quite sure He will. But next time, I’m bringing my own brown paper bag to breathe into. And an air horn, just in case I need to censor myself.
Anyone (particularly a church group) that wants to book me for a speaking engagement, should call 1-800-rent-a-dork. And yes, I will work for food.