Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Rejection (11/15/04)
TITLE: there being no further new business....
By phyllis griffith
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The idea had grown inside me until I could not hold it back. It had taken on a life of its own, and eventually overpowered my reluctance to speak. They looked at me for a few long moments, and then as if on cue, turned to each other and resumed their talking.
Committees. I crumpled up inside like a piece of paper about to be tossed into the wastebasket. Slowly the adrenaline stopped sounding the warning bell calling me to either run or attack. What was so wrong with my idea? Why were their ideas any better? Of course, I was not in any position to say exactly what their ideas were, since I was still recoiling from their rejection. Perhaps I said it all wrong, and they thought I was slightly insane. Perhaps I had spoken in gibberish. Perhaps they just didnít like me
and were putting me in my place. Perhaps I had so threatened them with my brilliance
and oratory that they were in awe. I slowly began to settle down enough inside that I
could actually hear what was being said.
It was to be as it had always been. The standard accepted practice was to be repeated, as
there had been no plausible alternative offered. No one looked at me. If my eye happened to catch one of them unprepared, a quick grimace was offered in place of a real smile, and they quickly turned away. The meeting ended and I could at last leave the arena of battle. I walked quickly to my car and was the first one out of the church parking lot. I wanted to cry, and it surprised me. It was just an idea. Just a committee
meeting. These were my sisters and brothers. Was I so out of step with everyone else?
Did I act like that when others offered an idea I didnít like, or want to hear, or that sounded too different, or that I was afraid of?
That last thought landed in my mind and dug in. Was I aware enough of the fragility of
those around me? My position of leadership suddenly began to look different to me in
the light of my still smarting emotions. How many times had I hurt someone deeply by
the phony smile, the inattention to what they were saying when their words were not
sufficient to express it? How many God- inspired ideas had I failed to help midwife into
life? How many times had I taken the safe route instead of the untried route? How many
times had I clung to the law, because grace was too terrifyingly freeing?
Of all the committee meetings I had yet attended, this one was the most productive in my own soul. Who says nothing is ever accomplished by a committee?