8/16/2005

"Originally" strong

1. I do not do things that are "originally" strong.

One of the hard realizations I have come to of late is that I am an extremely weak person. Of course, I instantly rejected this thought when it came to me. Have you seen me pull out great plays in clutch situations? Have you seen me stick to my guns in an argument or debate? Have you heard the conviction in my voice as I challenge the storm? Aren't those things strong?

As I consoled myself with all the things I'm good at, I came to realize that those are also things that don't cause much of a struggle for me. For instance, public speaking is something I've been doing since I was young. I don’t get stage fright, and anyone who knows me knows that talking about ideas has never been a problem. Sports also come naturally, and coming through in big situations isn't as big a deal when you are generally better than other players (such as in Ultimate Frisbee).

In short, the perception of strength in myself isn't really because I AM strong… it's because my natural talents seem strong by comparison. When a heavyweight boxer fights against the local mailman, of course he seems strong; but how does he do against other heavyweights?

The more I examine myself, the more I come to realize how hard it is for me to persevere in areas that I dislike or am not naturally gifted in. I find it very hard to keep track of lots of details, or to understand the interactions involved in making something "look good". I struggle to keep in touch with people or to be consistent in doing chores or odd jobs. Perhaps worst of all, I often allow myself to fail, and then follow it up by convincing myself that I never really cared in the first place.

A person is strong when they triumph over something that is naturally hard; FOR THEM. Their perseverance is the measure of their strength, not their abilities as measured next to someone of fewer natural skills or talents. When I look at myself, I see very little of that.


This has begun to change my perspective on my role in life. For a long time, I thought God made me strong so that I could bear hard things for Him. I thought that being put in tough situations would be my specialty, since I'm so "strong" when they come along. Now that I'm in a somewhat stormy situation, I find that the opposite is true; I'm actually a wimp. I've had a hard time coping and struggling through circumstance.

There is a silver lining, though. My desire and commitment to being a pastor has not waned in the least during this time. Further, I have seen God actually strengthen my ability to understand and interpret what he is saying. More and more I am learning what Christ meant when He said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they shall inherit the earth." The strength I need to be who I'm supposed to be isn't there, unfortunately. It just isn't. Only God can fix this. I'm seeing, though, all the great things he COULD do with this. What will he do? I need to wait and see.

1 comment:

amanda said...

too bad this isn't a xanga I could give you props. I'll give you a blog smile instead. :)

I'm praying for you.