“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
~Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
Thousands of years ago, God appeared to Moses in a burning bush. This story can be found in the Book of Exodus, Chapter 3. If you read further, you will find that Moses tried every excuse in the book to convince God to send someone else into Egypt to free the Israelites. By the middle of Chapter 4, God has had about enough of Moses’ excuse making and agrees to send his brother, Aaron, with Moses, to be the spokesman. When you read these passages about Moses, if you allow yourself to get a visual image, Moses’ whining is actually quite comical. In reading this, one thing I believe, for sure, is that Moses was an introvert. If he was an extrovert, he would have been excited, not apprehensive, about the opportunity to free his people.
A few years ago for Christmas, my son, Eric, bought me a book, about the awesomeness of being an introvert. My entire life, I had always thought of myself as an extrovert so my first thought was, “Does this child not know me at all?!” A few months ago, at my workplace, we were required to take the Myers Briggs Personality Test. I scored 15 out of 21 in the introverted category. So, after reading the book, taking the test, and truly understanding what it means to be introverted, it turns out that, yes, I am an introvert.
That doesn’t mean that I am shy or quiet, it just means that I am most relaxed and rejuvenated spending time alone, rather than with a crowd of people. I had an opportunity last night to bring in 2016 with a group of wonderful Christian brothers and sisters. I opted to stay home and was completely content with my choice. Being in a room full of people is mentally draining for me and I leave the circumstance feeling exhausted. I am not anti-social and once I get to know you, you will likely be begging me to stop talking! Being an introvert, however, I often prefer to be alone, or with a few close friends, rather than amid a crowd of people. Also, like Moses, I do not like to be placed in the spotlight.
A few years ago, after moving to a new city, I was searching for a church home. I went to an adult Sunday school class at a local church and, since I didn’t know anyone, I was uncomfortable from the moment I walked in the room. I sat down at a table and class began. The instructor, Dave, asked us to look at the back of the papers he had left on the tables in front of us. Apparently, whoever had the blue dot on the back of the paper, was the person who would lead the group in prayer. Well, you guessed it. I had the blue dot! I politely passed on praying and while I did end up joining that amazing church, I have never once gone back to Sunday school! (Ok, NOT the same as the Moses thing, but to me, it was terrifying!)
About a year ago, I began serving with the food pantry ministry at my church. Each pantry day is opened and closed in prayer. Early on, I told the leader of the ministry, Vince, that all was well, just as long as he didn’t call on me to openly pray. Well, that day, as the meeting was coming to a close, Vince, said, “Mary, will you lead us in prayer?” Ugh. It’s a Christian introvert’s worst nightmare! I briefly thought of “pulling a Moses” to convince Vince that I was not the best person for the job, however, I took a leap of faith and I prayed. I was very uncomfortable, but as it turns out, I survived.
My friend, Jane, and I were recently talking about our goals for 2016. We both agreed that we need to make a better effort to get together and spend time in fellowship with each other as well as with our other friends. As we continued to talk, we realized that we are both very comfortable being alone. I am comfortable in my own skin. I have joy in my heart that comes from knowing Jesus. I am not a loner, and am blessed with close friends, but if given the choice, I will always opt for a quiet night at home. I will always choose NOT to lead the group in prayer.
God, however, did not allow Moses to hide behind his discomfort. Instead, God provided everything Moses needed to serve Him, which in his case, was Aaron to speak and the ability to do miraculous signs. I sometimes wonder if there is such a thing as being too comfortable being alone, and I guess, to some degree, it could get to that point. Since God made me this way; however, I also believe that He will always provide me with good people in my life. People that bring balance to my introversion and make me step outside of my comfort zone… allowing me to serve Him as He calls.