When we accept our shortcomings, or the fact that we cannot be perfect, it’s a path to setting expectations– for other people and most especially ourselves. However, in a world with so much competition, so many badges and titles out there to earn, we can’t help but get lost in the rat race. There’s a desire to be the best not just professionally but even at home or in relationships . At least from my end, I did want to be the best in everything. It’s where I hinged my value then as a person. I’d take criticism at work personally and spend hours too many slaving to finish everything. (But since it’s work, it never ends. That’s just how it is. They won’t need us employees when work actually ends.)
It was a dangerous place for me to be in, wanting to prove my worth in every aspect of life. We don’t even have to as we were already made with worth. All of Creation, everything, was created by words except for one. God dirtied His hands to form man and breathed life into us.
Then the Lord God took some soil from the ground and formed a man* out of it; he breathed life-giving breath into his nostrils and the man began to live. -Genesis 2:7
It’s a blessing to have people in our lives– people we love and love us as much — who understand that everyone’s a work in progress. It is only through acknowledging that any role we are gunning for (or already have) will never feel sufficient that we allow the Source of all things to empower us and continuously fill us. He’d remind us we need not be promoted to feel special. That we need not be in a romantic relationship for us to feel loved. That we can and should rest on the 7th day as He made this for us and it doesn’t lessen our value. He didn’t need to rest. But even that He blessed us with.
Labels on earth are temporal, as they are material and can get banal; You won’t always be the Employee of the Year. They’re historical, as belonging to the past; You’d be something to someone only in this life.
Not to say that accolades are bad. Just that we don’t have to kill ourselves over something just so we can say we’re the best. In the end, if getting there only made us miserable, have other parts of our life falter and sent our principles down the drain…
what’s the trophy for?
Does the trophy symbolize the joy of the process? The surprise that your silent excellence was noticed? Or does it symbolize everything we had to compromise?
I wanted to be best everything. The problem is the world has limited resources to fill a void of self-worth. Only the Source of all things that which never runs out can fill that void. We may have felt that we’ve given everything but it didn’t seem to be enough. Relationships, career, solving problems of society or our friend’s. It’s futile. It’s like wanting to fill their cup with wine from a bottle that has a hole on the side. Our worth is and always will be from the One who made us. It’s not a one time big time. It’s everyday that I need to return to Him who made me so I won’t forget, or on days after I forget.
The good thing about finding worth in Christ is He’s *The One* who could have a say on what I really am; Not other people. He made me, saved me, looks after me every waking hour and when I sleep, searches the deepest trenches where I hide, gives me grace in every step I commit to take with Him. He’s my Maker, Father and Keeper. I can be called many things. But above all, loved by God. And He loves *you*, too. Immensely. More than anyone can ever. You don’t have to be the best in everything. You’re enough.
A good friend’s mom told me once, the day her husband shared the gospel with me, that there’s a Jesus-shaped void in our hearts. I guess that’s why we find ourselves in an endless cycle of longing-acquiring-longing as we try to patch it with the wrong things. Guess who’s the One who is (more than) enough to fill that. 🙂
My 2015 self giving some advice
*Genesis 2:7 The Hebrew words for “man” and “ground” have similar sounds.