Monday, August 22, 2011

Do I delegate to God?

So I was talking to an AMAZING friend of our family last week and we hit upon a really interesting discussion regarding delegation. Delegation, when done correctly, means to give authority to another so they may act on your behalf. We can all think of perfect examples for delegation, and that's where a lot of jobs are created- maids, cooks, secretaries, treasurers, vice presidents, presidents even. The role and goal of these positions and for delegation is for the completion of the part or whole of the idea, task, etc. Sometimes our plates are full and we need to pass a task on to another to complete it.

When I was working at the hospital, there were many times that I needed to delegate jobs to aids in order for the patient to be appropriately cared for. The tricky part of delegation is making sure that we aren't inappropriately delegating tasks. Using a similar example, it would be inappropriate (and illegal) for me to delegate medication administration to a student. They are in training, but aren't fully trained for it; they don't hold the license and knowledge to complete the task on their own. Therefore, it wouldn't be delegation at all but sheer laziness/poor leadership on my part to give that particular task to a student and would cause me to lose my license (don't worry, I've never done anything like that, just an example). Similarly, it would be inappropriate for a physician to ask me to diagnose, treat, or perform surgery for a patient. I am not a doctor. I may know a lot, or even have a guess as to what might be occurring, but it is not within my scope of practice.

Now what, if anything, does this have to do with my relationship with God? There have been many times when I ask God to take care of things for me or work a miracle on my behalf. I think back to high school and the last minute essays that needed completion and praying that God would help me pull the all-nighter so I could finish it in time, or better yet, have the teacher kindly extend the essay so I could make the much-needed corrections. Thinking of those prayers still makes me laugh. Now those are perfect moments of sheer laziness on my part. Granted, God is capable of all things, but finishing my essay isn't appropriate delegation. Why? Because if I really believe that God created all things; knows all things; can do all things; created me in His image and likeness; and called me to care for and protect the world that He created, I think I can handle that essay. Besides, the "care for and protect" command that He gave to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden kind of means that He actually delegated the task to me first.

Does this mean, then, that I cannot ask God for guidance or help? As in all things, I think it matters more for the heart of the request versus a specific formula or law. It is how I ask God to help me in my time of need, whether that need is finishing laundry or something greater; is it with honor, awe, love? Or is it with a simple passing thought and command of 'do it for me because I just don't want to and can't be bothered.' A few questions I now try to ask myself before sending a request to God: Am I capable of completing the task before me? Have I been given sufficient Grace? Is the task greater and beyond the skills that I have been given? More often than not, I find that I am capable and do not need God's amazing intervention. That being said, there are times when I know that my patience has run thin, my energy out, and my spirit running dry. It is during these times that I ask God for the Grace to continue what I have started and complete it with love and compassion. And that is most definitely not delegation- it is asking for help and guidance when I am a little lost.

It is, as my wonderful friend and I discussed, elegation. It is lifting up a task and giving it to the appropriate person in order that it may be rightly fulfilled. There are many things that God has given me that I cannot rightly and correctly complete on my own. My son is the perfect example. God blessed us with the most beautiful, inquisitive, energetic, bubbly, loving, gentle, adventurous now 13 month old. My heart is filled with so much joy and love and awe at the little man that I am called to raise up as a son of God- his true calling and true Father. But with this little man come the most amazing moments where I need more than what I have. I need God's grace (which He has promised us; II Corinthians 12:9) in order to finish. Is that God being a chauvinist? On the contrary, it is God loving me and desiring for me to go further than I could have ever dreamed; to soar among the clouds when I thought I could only watch them from afar. Back to my son as an example, I desire for him to learn and experience different things. Right now, he needs my guidance and help. There are tasks and experiences beyond his abilities, but that doesn't mean that I withhold those things from him- he would never learn, never know, never get to experience it.

God desires us to be as He created us, images of Him. As we are sinful, prone to sin, and fallen, we need and require His aid in order to be raised up from our situations and ourselves. This means doing things and experiencing moments and joys, but also recognizing when something is beyond us and entrusting the treasure with God; elegating the task to God; knowing that everything He does is in goodness and in love for us. My son isn't something that I could have, create, or raise on my own. He is a gift from God; an opportunity to become more than I ever could have been on my own. Because of that fact, I need to rely on God. It is God who gave me this beautiful little boy; He delegated the task of raising his son. So, when my little boy requires more than what I have to give, I give the frustration, the anxiety, the stress, the worry, the situation, back to his Father. I trust that God will care for my son, love him, nurture and grow him, better and in ways that I cannot because I am finite and human. God is infinite. When I lose myself, let go of myself and the things in my life and offer them to God, that is when I truly find my life, all of the beautiful things in it, and they are exactly where they should be- in God's hands.