This week I was reflecting on the Dr. Zeus book “Oh the places you’ll go” . Particularly the page that says:
“Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best,
Whenever you go you will top all the rest,
EXCEPT WHEN YOU DON’T,
BECAUSE, SOMETIMES YOU WONT”
I realised that its easy to write only about the times where I think I am the ‘best of the best’. I want to write of my victories and successes and so that you think I am strong, in everything I do. And there is a space for this, for I am sometimes blessed with victories, successes and sometimes these things make me feel strong.
But, my life is also filled with what I would name ‘except-when-I-don’t’ moments. Moments when I didn’t feel strong, when I am not victorious and when I am not successful. Moments when I am not social, energetic or excited. Moments when I am not calm, independent or coping with responsibility. Moments when I am not confident, adventurous and capable.
My Mum’s hypothesis is that the anxiety epidemic sweeping this generation is connected the us being very achievement oriented. I wonder if she is right and I think we see this in our presentation of ourselves, particularly in media. We post our successes that make us strong like when we get promotions at work, go on daring adventures, climb mountains, reach significant life-milestones, make new friends and master new hobbies.
Except sometimes we wont….. and how do we tell these stories?
I think our social media representation has an impact on how we view and tell our stories to each other. But I also wonder about what we tell ourselves. Do we tell ourselves when we wake everyday:
“Wherever I go I WILL be the best of the best?”
“Wherever I go, I WILL top the rest?”
Do we tell ourselves:
“I WILL always be strong and successful?”
Do we have space to accept that maybe today we wont, because maybe sometimes we don’t.
When I read the bible I see it full of the ‘except when we don’t’ moments. When followers of Jesus WEREN’T rich, WEREN’T loyal, WEREN’T right, WEREN’T popular, WEREN’T strong and WEREN’T successful in their mission.
In the book of Corinthians, Paul says that he has much he could boast about. In the words of Dr Zeus, Paul basically says ‘wherever I’ve flown, I’ve been the best of the best, wherever I’ve gone, I’ve been top of the rest’.
But then he says ‘except when I don’t, because, sometimes I wont’ and then he says ‘these are the only times I will talk of, for these times are when God HAS’. He says “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power in made perfect in your weakness’.
Not only does the bible call us to not focus on the moments of success and strength. It tells us that our ‘except when we don’t’ moments are the ones in which God reveals his extravagant strength.
My hope is that we might accept and relish our ‘except when we don’t’ stories, as the moments that God reveals His strength.