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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

A Life of Quiet Inspiration

By Rick Blumenberg / @RickBlumenberg
In most churches we celebrate those loud and boisterous souls who preach our sermons, lead our singing, build enthusiasm and in general carry out their extroverted tendencies as they serve the Lord with gusto and enthusiasm. (We could be more spiritual and call it passion.)
Thank God for the Extroverts!
We love them! They add excitement and zeal to worship and often get us to do things we never thought we would do but find we even enjoy doing—well at least sometimes. I really do thank God for the extroverts, and one reason we love them is because they are so noticeable. They are usually up front both literally and figuratively.
But I also thank God for the introverts
You won’t see them up front. They are usually at least three rows from the front and maybe way back. (Unless, like my poor wife, they move up just to make their extroverted spouse happy.) The introverts in the church (and in the home, the office, and everywhere else) are often not appreciated for the value they bring to church and many other areas of life, partly because we may not notice them. But that’s okay with them. They prefer it that way. You could say they definitely do not want to be noticed. It is also because they like to do background tasks that are so important to our lives, but often fly quietly under the radar of public view.
These introverts are often really good at (and enjoy) those background jobs. They may never teach a class, but they may be good at a ministry of prayer without which teachers, pastors and worship leaders would be worthless.
In Bible School they are more likely to work in the craft room where they may discover a future Leonardo DaVinci or Claude Monet when no one else has noticed. They might send that future artist out of the craft room feeling "God can use me just the way I am.”
Or that quiet introvert may be in the kitchen making food that nourishes the body (the temple of God) while the extroverts are working on the soul.
The problem is,
too often we sell the introverts short.
While we applaud the extroverts with hand claps and hearty “amens”, those quiet introverts are thinking about how to feed the extroverts who are too busy to even think about it until they are ravenous.
Introverts, of course, are not perfect—none of us are. They sometimes get bogged down, like Mary’s sister Martha, with the details of life so they’re caught up in what we call the “tyranny of the urgent” at the expense of what is really important. However, in doing so they often accomplish things we extroverts (and many introverts) don’t want to do without, but don’t really want to do.
So I thank God for the introverts
You find them at home, at church, at the office and just about everywhere in life (except the platform, the podium and the center of attention.) They are glad we more extroverted types get most of the attention, because these introverted types are happy with lives of quiet inspiration.
I’m Rick Blumenberg and that’s My View from Tanner Creek.

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