I have a confession today. If you want to belittle me or make me feel like less of a man, all you need to do is put a weed trimmer in my hand. You know, a string trimmer, weed whacker, etc. It would not be to strong of a word to say I hate them. I mean passionately. I had one for years that took forever to start and was giving out, so I finally broke down to get a new one. I thought this would overcome my problem. I was wrong. Three pulls and it started and I was happy. I followed all the instructions and it worked, for about ten minutes. Then it started stalling out. As soon as this happens I just feel worthless, like less of a man. Like a real man could make this work. And then of course, anger kicks in, which makes me question my qualifications to do things like ministry. I don’t like myself when I am using one of these devices, not even a little bit. To make matters worse when I thought maybe I finally had my issues (or at least the machine’s issues) somewhat worked out, I was trimming around a tree, focusing on the task at hand and I walked head first into a tree branch, and not at all gently. Blood was running down my face. I was semi proud of myself because I didn’t throw the trimmer across the yard, or throw it down and begin smashing it, but believe me when I tell you neither of those options were off the table of my mind. Every time this thing leaves the shed, I end up feeling like a useless human being.

So why do I share this story of bad behavior? Well for a couple of reasons. The first of which is there is no rational reason to feel the way I feel when these struggles happen. I need to get to the source of these feelings and with God’s help overcome them. Having trouble with a very temperamental machine is not a sign that I am less of a man, it’s a sign that I need to learn how to make it work or get it repaired. I didn’t learn these skills as a kid and that is a bummer, but I am smart enough to learn them now if I can stay rational and not give up (or give the thing the smashing it sometimes feels like it so richly deserves). There are things that we all feel we should be able to do by certain stages in our lives, and the things that come hard for us can really mess with our self esteem. At the end of the day part of all this is to remember who we are in Christ and overcome it. I’m not less of a man because I have not mastered this skill. I’m still God’s child and that doesn’t change because I get angry and frustrated. Bringing this into the creative world, you’re not less of an artist because a medium or a project drives you to distraction. These things may reveal flaws in your character that need to be overcome. God is faithful and He can help us overcome and make us better.

The other side of this is the impulse to just quit. I can’t do it. Now if you’re in a position to be able to pay someone else to do the things you hate to do, that may be an option, but I’m not there and besides, quitting this will not help me to overcome something in my life that still needs to be overcome. Also i don’t really feel like it would be fair to ask my family to do something I have this much trouble with and it still needs to be done. I need to tough it out, do the work and trust God to make me a better person through it. At the end of the day, sometimes that’s why struggles enter our live’s. So don’t give up. Trust God to bring you through, remember who you are and…

Do it anyway!

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