April 16, 2011

Clarity for 0.125 seconds

I am chronically guilty of . . . comparing myself to other people.

As one of my friends pointed out last week, comparing yourself to others can be a joy killer.

I know it's true, yet I still fall into the trap of this cycle way too easily.

Sometimes, I am right where I need to be. I'm not worried about the future, I'm trusting God with it and focusing on the present moment. I'm reflective and thankful for where I am, for what God has given me in provision - meeting my spiritual and physical needs. My soul feels content and secure.

And then, I go and mess it up . . .

There will always be someone who has a better personality than me, someone who is prettier than me, more talented, more successful, funnier, smarter, stronger, bolder, more spiritual, more mature, someone who has the things I think I need but don't have, someone who eats whatever they want, doesn't work out and still manages to look like this . . . I could go on and on . . .

Then I find myself feeling like a failure, hopeless . . . that I will never obtain the things I want (or think that I need). I must be missing out - I am way behind in life. I must be doing something terribly wrong because I see other people my age way ahead of me . . .

Sometimes it's easy to forget that God is working in each of us, and sometimes our pace is different than our friends or whoever we're comparing ourselves to. Sometimes it's easy to overlook God's provision and work in our lives because we're too busy looking around and coveting what everybody else has, or where they are in life.

I get so frustrated at myself for struggling with the same things over and over. I get so aggravated for struggling with contentment so frequently. But you know what? We are supposed to depend on God daily . . . it's not a one-time transaction and we're left to wander around our whole lives self-sufficient. We are brought into this beautiful relationship where we can call Him "Abba", Daddy - every day [Luke 11:1-11] . . . we are to pour out everything to Him - to trust in Him and wait on His timing . . . [1 Peter 5:6-7]

My struggles, my weaknesses are actually a blessing because they allow me to depend on Him, rather than myself. My imperfections glorify Him . . . when I lean on Him instead of striving to be self-sufficient.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
-2 Corinthians 12:9-10

And every now and then I have a moment of clarity where I realize that maybe I wasn't built to crank out push-ups every morning . . . maybe my size is OK and maybe it's healthy to have more than 5% body fat and I should just let that dream go . . . . nahhhh.

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