Some of our language's most familiar cliches are about perspective:
The grass is always greener on the other side.
Is the grass half empty or half full?
Admittedly, MPC and I are in the very beginning of the honeymoon phase so life is quite blissful at the moment. But it is already clear that they have a different perspective on me than DPC had.
MPC has begun with the assumption that I know what I am doing.
DPC began with (and in many cases kept) the assumption that I did not know what I was doing.
In fairness to DPC, although I had five years of church experience prior to going to school, I did arrive there out of seminary. Of course, over seven years later, many there were still treating me as if I knew very little... and deserved even less.
It's hard to name specifics, but I noticed the shift almost immediately. I had often used the phrase 'cultural collateral' to describe my frustrations with DPC. One of my frustrations was that no matter how much I did, with a few there was no cultural collateral to be gained. I constantly felt like I was proving myself to them with the lesson well learned that I am held accountable to God, no one else.
At MPC there is already a freedom that I am being trusted to do my job. There is no ethic of work-a-holicism. There is no withholding of funds because the Treasurer doesn't feel like writing the check. There is no filling out a huge form about the tasks I have completed which sometimes ends up taking longer and being more tedious than the task itself.
Now, I am not naive. I am trying to balance myself between realistic and 'waiting for the other shoe to drop'. I am still going to keep track of the major categories: visits, events, meetings. And they don't need to worry about my work ethic. But I think that is just the thing. At some point after two... four... six years I could never understand why DPC was still worrying about my work ethic.
And not giving me a legitimate reimbursement owed. Still.
There is a lot to do and I am experienced enough to know there are more lessons to be learned and some of them are going to hurt, but for now I am basking in the glow of a change in perspective.