That’s my little achiever kid right there….climbing a 15 foot rope.
As an achiever, I write my day as successful based on how much I have achieved. Achieve = to successfully bring about or reach a desired objective, level, or result by effort, skill, or courage. Sounds pretty good to me. Lately however, I’ve been missing the mark in terms of that “desired objective or result”. I have found myself feeling worthless or incapable because my capacity has been so diminished. Diminished = to make less or cause to appear less. Chemo off and on for the past year and a half has weakened my body, my endurance and my energy. Remember when I talked about the “breaker box” analogy? Refer to When You’re Waiting if you don’t. Question: Has my capacity actually diminished or does it just appear less? What if my definition of capacity and what I find as evidence of capacity in my life is not at all God’s perspective of my capacity? Capacity = the maximum amount that something can contain ; the ability or power to do, experience, or understand something. Please forgive the vocabulary lesson here, but what words mean and what we understand them to mean is often very different. Then take one more step into the understanding of a word through The Word and it changes even more.
“And what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,” -Ephesians 1:19-20-
(Above was the second time I “completed” chemo)
His capacity is immeasurable. Where does my capacity even come from? God is revealing to me how finding success in my achievements is an inaccurate view of my identity and how small what I am achieving really is. Truly….can it even be called an achievement? I have placed more value upon my human abilities, rather than listening to the Holy Spirit moment by moment for what I am to do and not to do. Again…here comes the assumption that I’ve got it figured out…I know what the priorities are…and I can take care of them. Let me do you a favor God, I got this. What I’m really saying though is “stay out of this, I don’t need your help.” Yikes. That’s ugly.
What is success anyway? Is my success determined through the glasses of the world or the Word? There is a redefining of success that must occur. My definition of success has been based on tangible achievements. Things I can see the result of, that I can hold in my hands, check off my list and ultimately say “I did this”. The glasses I see through in the midst of my “insufficiency” and physical weakness are revealing that achievement of intangible things is filled with more joy, holds greater value and has a lasting impact that tangible achievements never will. This is something that my spirit must teach my flesh daily. Break it open and this is another stinky costume that selfishness hides in. Selfishness is cancer. And as my body is being eradicated of cancer, my spirit is thirsting for the daily eradication of selfishness. Yet, not by my might, nor by my power, but by His Spirit. Only then will I truly be able to find the intangible achievements and victories in my day as having greater value and worth than the tangible.
“I will run the course of your commandments, For You shall enlarge my heart.” -Psalms 119:32
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” –2 Corinthians 4:16-18–
(Watching fireworks from the top of Vanderbilt)
It’s clear. The things that are unseen are what we should be seeking after. And most of the time those accomplishments have to do with people…with relationships. Your spouse. Your kids. Your friend. The broken and the bound. Seek those achievements.
Achievements through Him that He will then respond “well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” -Matthew 25:23-
2 thoughts on “I Give Up”
Ferris, the lessons you are writing about are a light to us all and they reflect the true wisdom that comes when we embrace life daily walking with the Spirit. I know Our Father is entrusting you with this experience with great love and purpose. May he strengthen you today as in your/ our weakness his strength is made perfect. You are blessing us all as you honestly share.
I love where it says in that Psalm He “shall enlarge my heart.” It paints an amazing picture of what you’re saying about relationships, success, and achievement. I pray He would continue to enlarge your heart and strengthen you each day so you would continue experience the height, depth, and power of His love.