Only very recently I preached again, for the first time in over two years. Now, even though some level of presenting and public speaking is afforded me in my work role, preaching at a church meeting is an entirely different “animal” altogether I find. My own critique: rusty.
I’ve reflected that performance in life has a rhythm to it. Like riding a bike or playing a guitar, once we’ve done it enough we never really lose the skill, we just need adequate exposure to maintain what we’ve learned and hence applied; the rest is down simply to confidence.
Rustiness is then actually a ruse for the real thing.
It could prevent us from going on into the gorgeous revelation of the potential to be realised in us. But that’s not the purpose of rustiness at all. Rust is simply evidence of oxidation; the need of maintenance; maintenance suggesting we’re already the ‘real deal.’
So, we draw confidence—and any scrap of it—when we’ve taken the plunge and come out the other side; tested and found wanting perhaps, but tested all the same, and found with some vital signs intact and integrity to match.
Rustiness to competence is an interesting concept.
It’s our destiny. Skill is our drive. We’re alive to learn and to do things well, to perform at our best, to derive confidence in this and as we grow, and to contribute to the wider community.
Being rusty needn’t sway us from the task of living that’s in our hands. We’re going on from that. We’re not held back in flailing confidence. We recognise this Promised Land of the soul that stands but a striking distance away and we make the moves required to take it captive.
It’s there for our taking. Take it.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.