Practical Traps

I was “at work” 1 the other day and had a sudden realization. Many of my co-workers don’t know me very well.

This came as quite a shock to me. I’m friendly with everyone there, but in a lot of ways I feel I’ve been cast into the “computer guy” role so deeply that people may have forgotten I’m more than that. Very few have heard me preach, almost no one knows the depth of joy I feel when I sing, my passion for learning doesn’t seem to be understood much beyond gadget acquisition.

The realization was sobering. I’m not “the man behind the gadgets,” that’s just the practical outworking of my peculiar calling. I get behind the gadgets because I love to create, am in awe of the art of communication, and have a passion to understand. I love these things because this is the person into whom Jesus has formed me. There’s a huge theology behind my practical tasks, which I fear gets lost far too often.

Now, I’m certainly at fault in helping to spring this trap. I am an introvert, and revealing the full range of my person in “meatspace” is not how I’m wired 2. In crowds I’ll make jokes to relieve stress, only speak if I feel I can both inject a pertinent word and have a clear exit from the conversation, and resort to doing things to keep from being emotionally overwhelmed. Doing, for me, is usually pressing buttons on some gadget, which only serves to reinforce the image of me as “the computer guy.”

This is not a complaint, nor is it a slight against my co-workers 3. After all, I don’t know them all that well either – and that’s got much to do with who I am. This is simply a meditation pondering the relational traps into which I’ve fallen, and my own roll in snapping them shut.

Being a person is messy.

  1. I’ve always felt this was a stupid phrase. I’m a pastor and a geek with a laptop. “At work” is wherever I am, preferably with wifi. 
  2. Yes, I see the irony of posting it on a blog. I’ve never said logic was my strong suit. 
  3. Who happen to be a group of extremely dedicated and delightful people.