Do you ever wake up and feel like ‘the world’ hasn’t been completely honest with you? I do. I’ve been having ‘one of those days’ a lot in the last week or two. It has to do with who I am and what I can do and cannot do.
As a child I remember my Mom telling me that I can do anything I want to do, if only I will put my mind to it. I remember my public school teachers telling me something similar to that, as well as some older adults that influenced my life. I know what their intention was behind this phrase – “Believe in yourself. Don’t limit yourself, but instead, dream.”
They were right.
Time and time again I have discovered throughout my life that there are things I do not do well. I do ‘okay’, but the subject matter or the activity doesn’t grab me. It does not hold my interest or bring me life when I engage in the activity. Try as I might, it’s just not there. There are other times when I will throw myself into an activity or attempt at trying to wrap my head around a particular subject, and I simply cannot do it. Not that I don’t want to. I simply cannot do it – either wrap my head around it, or literally do not have the capability to pull it off. And then…there are those times (like all of us) when we try something and go, “I – LOVED – DOING – THAT!” It doesn’t matter whether it’s hard, it just brings so much life and it honestly feels like a ‘good hard’.
A couple of weeks back I was having this conversation with God and with myself (which can be a really scary thing to engage in as I can end up confusing the conversations I have with myself as being ‘God’s voice’.). But what I heard him say, was right out of Romans 12 where Paul talks about offering our bodies as a living sacrifice. I heard him say that the only thing I can offer is ‘Scott’. In fact, that’s the only living sacrifice that I can offer him.
I cannot offer anyone else, because that is not ‘my sacrifice’, and since it is not mine, I have no business in expecting God to accept it. As I continued to read on, Paul gives this warning: “Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” Got it!! Be honest in your evaluation of yourself, Scott.
Paul then goes on and basically says that once you have found that ‘thing’ that brings you life, then do that to the best of your ability. Got it!! Find what you do and then focus your energy on that and bring your A game to the table.
I think I’m figuring out part of what Jesus is inviting me to when he says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
“Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I’m free at last!”
3 thoughts on “Be Yourself – Everyone Else is Taken”
I like your title “Be Yourself”!
Not too many people do that. In order to truly be yourself you have to accept yourself. If you keep trying to be something different, you’re hardly being yourself.
I have a long history of beating myself up over and not giving myself enough credit. Being a highly ambitious person who is willing to hold myself accountable I would find myself trying to change and fix things as I felt it was productive.
The best piece of advice I ever received was from the CEO of my company. He simply said:
“Jason, you’re a ship in the water. Your sail is up and the wind is blowing. You’re so busy looking for tiny tears in your sail or trying to make your sail bigger that you’re not focusing on sailing your ship. Sail your ship!”
I finally understood and it’s been a game changer for me!
Great post! Good luck!
Hey Jason – thanks for the reply and your thought-provoking words. There is a lot of truth to what you said. Your CEO was a wise man! No doubt I will be using that quote (or course, replacing your name with mine or whomever 🙂 ). All the best in your endeavours!
I love the ship analogy… Ships and sailing sure come up a lot at the Vineyard, seems to be one of the ways God gets our attention 🙂