I'm like Leeroy, not in the sense of being ill-prepared or haphazard, but in the sense that the only thing I hate more than being told what to do, is being told how to do it. This started from a very early age. My mom was pretty good about choosing her battles in this arena, so as long as the end-goal was accomplished, she gave me mostly free reign. I wanted to cook, but I didn't want to use a recipe. I wanted to decorate hair bows with her, but I wanted to do it my way.
And in a lot of areas of my life, this "skill" has actually been a huge blessing. In the workplace and my personal life, I constantly find shortcuts and have an odd passion for strategic planning and efficiency. If you tell me the reason something is done a certain way is "because it's always been done that way" KNOW that's not a good enough reason for me.
This tendency also got in my way at times, though. I remember playing softball when I was younger. I really enjoyed it and I was good... not amazing... but good. Playing for a team that was a consistent state qualifier was awesome. I mostly played outfield on that team, and if you know anything about the outfield, you know the importance of hitting your cut-off when throwing it in. Our coach was a cut-off NAZI, and probably needless to say, I sometimes just wanted to do things my way.
I remember one time specifically; we were in the field with a big hitter at bat and a runner on third. The batter hit a deep fly ball to me in left field, and I caught it. Next, I was supposed to throw it to my cut-off at shortstop to stop the runner from tagging up. Without a thought or hesitation, I mustered everything I had... and threw that sucker to home plate. It was a great throw... one hop... our catcher made the tag... Quite possibly should have been on ESPN highlights. Everyone was ecstatic—except my coach. When she told me I was running for that play, it totally blew my little seventh grade mind.
“I MADE that play. WHY am I running?” I asked.
“Sometimes HOW we do things is more important than what we do,” she said firmly.
And then I ran.
Just like Leeroy Jenkins and his friends... I had the same end goal as my coach... but my tactics were not favorable. And I realized the other day how often I do this to God. As I’ve grown in my faith, I’ve become actually pretty gifted in judging what God wants to happen in a situation and what his call is in my life and the lives of those in my circle of influence. But looking at some situations, I’ve totally been pulling a Leeroy Jenkins on God.
God will carefully plan and prepare the hearts of people, gather others to work together to accomplish his mission, know and follow a perfect timing... but that’s IF... IF he can stop me from charging into the situation yelling, “Aliiiiiiiiiii Mooooooooorrison!” with guns blazing.
Don’t get me wrong... I’ve very much aligned my goals with God’s. I truly, deeply want people to know God, love God, live righteously and responsibly, and let go of baggage and bad habits... All of the things God wants. But sometimes I struggle to make my tactics match up with his.
I know He has perfect timing; I want to move forward now.
I know He is calling me to appeal with compassion; I want to beat some sense into people.
I know He wants me to actively love and care about the well-being of all people; I want to cut the list down a little.
Reading Psalm 37:7 the other day, it was like it had been written for me.
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.”
So basically... No Leeroy Jenkins... hit your cut-off man... follow directions... BE STILL.
Because when we commit to doing God’s work, sometimes HOW we do things is more important than what we do.