Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lay My Mantle Down

This past weekend I had the privilege of being at a 24-hour retreat with the Operation Christmas Child area coordinators from the Mid-Atlantic region.  If you followed my journey on Facebook you know that I had several major travel snafus.

My outgoing flight from Erie was delayed which made me miss my connection in Cleveland which made me spend four more hours in the airport.  It took me 8 hours to get to Baltimore and it's about a 6.5 hour drives in a car.

The flight home was worse, because I got bumped from my flight in Philadelphia and had to spend the night there.  This meant I missed the first 3 hours of work on Monday morning and ended up taking an extra 1/2 personal day.  I only get 3 per year so this was a major disappointment.

But I think it was worth it.

The theme of the retreat started with superheroes and as we discussed superheroes the thinking turned to capes.  We read how Elijah passed his mantle (cloak or cape) to Elisha and we talked about succession planning and how we need to prepare to pass our roles on to others.

We each had the task of decorating our own felt cape with a choice of craft supplies.  Some of them were amazing.  I, however, am woefully uncrafty, so my cape was not photo-worthy.

At the end of the retreat we each took some time to write our thoughts on the following writing prompt, "I am not a superhero but I serve the Almighty God of the Universe..."

Writing with a pen was better than fabric paint for me, and I wrote, "I have been addicted to the approval of others and I have borne the heavy burden of my own expectations and demands.  I have been afraid--my pride has led me to think that I need to be a superhero and sometimes I am just so tired.  I can't keep this team up on my own.  God, I am desperate for You.  I need You to do what only You can do.  I lay my mantle down and I don't want to take it up again."

We then each took our mantle and laid it on the cross at the front of the room.

Every year more of my area coordinator friends lay their mantles down or pass them to another.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about doing that many times during the course of the year.

But I'm not ready yet.

Still, I don't want to wear a cape.  I just want to leave it hanging on the cross.

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