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Timely or Late?

November 21, 2009

By Sister Michelle 

I am late posting this blog, I had it on my calendar and still missed it when the deadline got close.  I’m so embarrassed.  I believe in being on time, keeping commitments, and not letting people down…it’s times like this that I have to practice “mercy” on myself and perhaps on anyone who might feel the duty to give me correction.

My ministry has had some unusual business this semester, possibly having to move our offices, dealing with commercial real estate agents.  At the same time my recordkeeping and billing software (for a counseling practice) quit working and I had to research and now learn a new system.  Not much different from any jack-of-all-trades business person, right?  and I have the blessing of being able to work late or change my hours since mine is not an eight to five job and I don’t have children to feed at home.  What does it mean to be Mercy in this context?  Of course as a therapist I try to always practice Mercy in sessions with my patients.  … more in a couple hours…

I’m back, I’m typing during a break in a workshop on Motivational Interviewing.  I’m actually learning how often I mess up and don’t do the kind of respectful listening really required of a therapist (or anyone wanting to help others).  Always more mercy for me to learn and more mercy needed to handle my private embarrassment,…well it’s not so private since I actually tell on myself during the class discussion.  Maybe that will help someone else accept their frailty too.

As to the software decision: I deliberately chose a more difficult to learn software because it has features which will almost force me to do ideal record keeping and not let me get away with shortcuts.  I think that is mercy too; that I don’t just serve, but try to serve as well as if every person is Christ and deserves my very best. It is always a tension between efficiency/thoroughness, easy and optimal.  This sofware even helps with do outcome effectiveness research on my own practice.

The office choices are similar; How can I help create a positive community of therapists, keep overhead low so that more resources are available for the service to the poor,  and still have an office that is convenient and makes people feel respected and at home.  Each choice gives more of one value and less of another; that is the challenge of the real world.  Because of the limits of time and space;  multiple ideals are in tension with each other for every available option.

How do you deal with embarrasment?  What choices do you make that put your ideals in tension with each other?

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