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We all start out funny and awkward

Sean was talking to our squad one spring night in Bucharest. We’d had a good day and worship was flowing. Sean is an exhorter and was finding his rhythm. He was calling them to a higher level. “God puts a demand on us,” he was saying. Perhaps he could hear the resistance in some, “Who me? Plea…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Sean was talking to our squad one spring night in Bucharest. We’d had a good day and worship was flowing. Sean is an exhorter and was finding his rhythm. He was calling them to a higher level. “God puts a demand on us,” he was saying.

Perhaps he could hear the resistance in some, “Who me? Please, you don’t understand.”

What I liked about his response was that he didn’t try to disabuse his listeners of their feelings. Instead, he joined them and validated what they felt: “We all start out funny and awkward,” he said.

And something in me resonated. “Yes, I was funny and awkward once. Maybe I still am.”

In every school room there’s a class clown who turns this
inner awkwardness on its head and is able to garner the laughter and approval of
classmates. But behind the comedy is nervous relief that we are being spared shame – it is the class clown and not us who is on stage.
If we could see how people really feel about themselves, we’d be surprised. Almost everyone feels twinges of insecurity and is hiding this fact from a suspicious world. I’m continually amazed at how many leaders are hiding their insecurity from their followers.
 

Some African initiation rites begin with the mother protecting her boy while the men of the tribe call the boy out from behind her skirts – that place of comfort and nurture. They call him out to dangerous places where he ultimately can find his destiny.

Behind the skirts the boy’s awkwardness remains hidden. But he can’t go to that new level without risking embarrassment. Growth doesn’t happen without exposing your awkwardness. Yes, there’s the possibility of shame and failure, but there’s also the possibility of greatness.
 
Do you feel like you come from a messy place and are navigating your way through life with what may be on occasion false bravado? If you feel you come from funny and awkward place, join the crowd.

Comments (4)

  • Dad, this is not just so refreshing and liberating but also simple. Having finally met you, I know you are for real. Thanx for this one.

  • Wow Seth, this is good! Thanks…
    One challenge I have presented myself is this- if it feels awkward, push yourself to do it. I notice I overcome more of my fears by pushing past that feeling of awkwardness. The more awkward situations I put myself in, the less awkward they become.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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