1 Corinthians 9:24-27
2 Corinthians 4:7
I'm prideful. I'm selfish. I can be deceitful. I can be vindictive. I succumb to anger. I'm envious. I fail to uphold my word. I worry. I doubt. I judge. I hate. I lie. I hurt. I fail.
I'm a failure, and that's a beautiful thing.
All of these things are extremely hard to admit, and none are aspirations, but every one of them points towards the fact that I can not do anything on my own. I can only do so much to fix them in my life. Ultimately, I need someone to help me clean house in my life. My own strength only feeds the cycle.
Growing up, I always aspired to be a superhero. I would strap on my Superman cape, gloves, beanie, and some ill-fashioned sword, so that I could race around to save the world. Who wouldn't want to be a superhero? They can do anything. They overcome the greatest odds and always come out on top. They possess great strength and courage. They are truthful. They are valiant. They are moralistic. They are, in many ways, what we all dream of being in our own lives. This is where we learn to try and do it all on our own.
I believe we all are meant for something greater than what we settle for, for lives that are far superior to our dreams. In the text, Paul talks about not aimlessly living, but forcing himself to be better, so that he doesn't disqualify himself from the very prize that he teaches about. If we aren't pushing ourselves to be greater every day, then we are settling for less than our capabilities, for less than we were meant to live for.
Above, I listed some of my faults. If I listed them all, you'd still be reading a super-depressing list. The truth is that none of these things define me. I have to place them in the rear-view of my life and press towards that awesome version of myself that exists on the road ahead. It takes work every day. But, I can not do it alone. I have placed my faith in someone far greater than me, who wants me to be what I was created for. Who would know my purpose better than the one who created me?
Stop trying to be a Superman or Superwoman. In this life, you will find that trouble abounds and when you allow God to handle it and lead you, it is a much easier road.
My failures continue to teach me that there is a better life than the one I live in. I can be better than all of those things. When I focus on what I can control in my life and leave the uncontrollable to God, I find the failures and shortcomings decrease. I find I'm happy. I find my heart headed in the right way. I find that those things I don't like about me are being changed into something better than I could dream. I'm shown flashes of who I really could be.
I fail so I know my life is better in God's strength. I get better and grow so I see Him at work in life, loving me through my failures. A creator creates that which He loves and takes joy in.
Do not go gentle.