Just because it’s in the Bible, doesn’t mean it’s true…
In 1 Timothy 1:15, Paul says that he is the chief of sinners. Well, that’s not true because he was just like myself; my own worst critic.
I had a hard afternoon today. I “fixed” something that didn’t need fixing and that change tangentially broke something else in a production system. I spent and hour and a half fixing something that should never have broken. I also spent an hour and a half, more wound up than a top and lacking any discernible peace. I was all wound up over the fact that I made a mistake, several customers were down, and so on and so forth. After it was all said and done, service restored, and myself on the drive home, I complained to Jesus yet again, that I can’t do this job like this. Either I have to change how I handle self-initiated emergencies, outages, blah blah blah, or I have to change careers.
Now, I am not opposed to changing careers as my personality type is not a fan of the work that I do but that’s not even close to the point. While I am doing the job God very obviously placed me in, I am going to be shaped, molded, and refined. I know that this job is temporary in nature for me because it doesn’t line up with my dreams, prophetic words, long-term interests, etc. Again, that’s not the point. I reacted today, as I have many times before, in a way that does not match how Jesus would have. As far as comparisons go, that’s a hard one to make. It’s also one filled with tension as I have the same DNA, same Spirit, and same created mandate as does all mankind. However, I have not yet grown up into the fullness of the head of Christ. His Body is still a bobblehead and not fully mature yet. I am not fully mature yet. Most days I feel like a 15 year old and that’s an improved age to how I felt a few years ago.
I discussed this and some other thoughts from the drive home with my beautiful and wise wife, Cherie, and have come to this conclusion: comparison can be a gift but taken too far, it can be a killer. Over comparison has killed so many things for me: goals, dreams, jobs, peace, finances, relationships, and so much more. I have very little ability to just enjoy an activity if it’s something I want to be good in. If I want to excel, I have to be the best. Literally, the best. How in God’s name is someone supposed to be the BEST in anything out of 7+ billion people who are completely different from each other? It’s absolutely illogical and reeks of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. (To be good is to be better than anyone else.) The Fruit of Life says that I can enjoy doing something without even thinking of degrees of difference between myself and someone else. I can enjoy playing music without having to be better or worse than someone else. My inner-drive to self-improve can be just that, self-improvement, and measured only against the mark of my last goal.
This is a big deal for me. There’s so much of my childhood that I don’t remember for so many reasons. There are some parts I do remember, and I have always like performing better than others and coming out on top. I have no idea why that is. Watching my two and a half year old daughter, it’s surprising how early these ideas and thought patterns are learned and habits are formed. According to the MBTI and the Strengthsfinders test, I was built with that inner-drive to improve. However, somewhere along the way, the drive to be better than I was before turned into being better than other people at things that cannot be compared equally. There is no ceteris paribus (all things being equal) in most things because life is not lived in a vacuum and although we are all born of the same seed, we are not all surrounded by the exact same scenarios, circumstances, or environments. We are all shaped and bent differently from the time of our forming. We are not meant to be the same.
I will NEVER be the best uilleann piper in the world but I can enjoy listening to true masters of the pipes as much as I can enjoy playing them.
I will NEVER be the best Cisco engineer in the world but I can enjoy working with those who are excellent at it and learn what I don’t know from them.
I will NEVER be the best father in the world but I can love my children with my life.
I will NEVER be the best husband in tthe world but I can strive to always let my wife know she is the best wife in the world and love her accordingly.
I don’t know how to end this post so…