I Am Young: A Prayer of Confession

The following is a prayer I wrote a few weeks ago. As I continue to grow into the work of ministry, I wanted to confess the distance I felt between where I am and what I sense this work requires of me. I am young and this line of work makes me feel my age.

———–

Father,
I am young.
And I say that as a confession.
I confess my neurotic optimism that is not yet faith.
I confess my passive rebelliousness that is not yet love.
I confess my self-conscious competence that is not yet humility.

The trouble is,
I know enough that I can make these vices appear as virtues –
Neurosis as passion,
Optimism as hope,
Passivity as patience,
Rebelliousness as leadership,
Self-consciousness as self-awareness,
Competence as giftedness.

But you and I both know that’s not what’s going on here.
Not when I am so consumed with worry about the Church’s future
— my future.
Not when I continue to assume that if I don’t get my way,
I have failed.
Not when I smile at being able to diagnose someone’s problem,
Whether or not I have actually helped them.

So I confess that I am young.
And that even my best ministry is about me right now –
My technique,
My self-esteem,
My impressiveness.
Forgive me, Father,
For I do not know what I am doing.
And be with Your people.
Give them Yourself despite me,
That my growing pains might not become their chronic pain.
And give me wisdom beyond my years.
No – beyond the years.
Your Wisdom.
You.
Amen.

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