Persistence pushes through resistance. As a current recovering perfectionist, I’m learning this the hard way.
But it’s got to be perfect! I tell myself. I bet somewhere down in my soul, the resisting force is laughing at me: she’ll never get anything done or accomplished it mocks. Can’t say I don’t blame it or disagree with it. Perseverance and persistence have been quietly cheering me on it the sidelines, but frankly, resistance has been kicking my butt.
I aim to change that, though. I’m tired of taking the path of least resistance and mediocrity. For everyone, that’s going to look different in their life.
I’ll be the first to admit that climbing uphill when your whole life has been on flat ground is no picnic. In my case, a lot of the things I’ve done in my life were fueled by the desire to perform for others in order to feel good about myself or to use that as a way to keep myself in line. My motives haven’t been to give God the best of me. It’s been to keep my family happy, to please those I barely know and might never see again, and so on. Everyone has received more priority on my office list. The One’s who’s opinion most matters, however, I’ve barely registered.
What if I slip up in this area? What will everyone else think?
It’s crushing to live under that constant stress and the overwhelming thoughts of others. And it gets me nowhere. I end up freezing in the end now since many of my previous cold walls have fallen. My old motivations have left me and now I have nothing and I don’t know what to do with myself.
So, now then, what is my motivation? My strength? Is is God? If I am being honest, no. I try so hard to make God proud of me, that I end up overwhelmed and just don’t do anything. That sounds contradictory to what I previously said, but I try to make it sound logical to myself. If I do (blank task), then person A will be happy, and that will make God proud of me. We all have things we believe that once we look at them from a different perspective we realize how crazy and ridiculous it sounds.
What if I fail Him? What if I misrepresent His Word and His character? How will I ever become an accurate showing of his Gospel?
These all sound logical to ask if I say I’m a believer in Christ, but if they keep me from doing what He’s actually told me to do, then they’ve become a problem and not a help. The truth is, that’s not my job. If I focus all of my attention on what I can’t do, it’s no wonder I’ve lost so much motivation for the things I normally love to do.
“I can’t,” is deafening. So are: “It won’t work out.”, “Darn it, I’ve done it again…”, and “What’s the use/point?”
But if I look at God and stop focusing on my constant failures (and believe me, they’ve been stacking up…) I can learn from them, and not use them to validate why I’m a failure. Why I shouldn’t write, sing, dance, start a business, and whatever else I might do. Instead, focusing on Him I see, why I should.
These days seem to be getting darker and darker, but I can’t let the craziness of the whole world keep me from doing something that might reach someone and pull them out of their own darkness.
We are the light of the earth. If I put my lamp under that shade in fear of it being turned over, then what good does it become?