I grew up in an era where the Army’s recruiting slogan was “Be All You Can Be.”
It was catchy and motivating and it lured me into feeling like I could do just about anything. It wasn’t the only factor that made me want to join the Army. I also had a strong sense of duty and patriotism. A visit to West Point when I was a freckle faced eight year old with a bowl-shaped hair cut pretty much sealed the deal.
The idea that I could do anything appealed to me. So, I went to USMA and joined the Army and, at the risk of sounding prideful, I was pretty good at it. Their rewards system fed my never satisfied pride. The idea that I was a part of something bigger than myself inspired me to do all I could do for the cause.
The world sends us all similar messages. Be more. Do more. Achieve more. You can have it all. Chase your dreams. You can do it!
You Can’t Do It All
Trying to be all I can be has been the source of a whole lot of angst in my life. In hindsight, I can see how I had wrapped up so much of my worth in being the best Army Officer I could possibly be that I lost sight of who God created me to be. In all my working and striving and stressing over evaluations and ratings and awards, I lost sight of how good God already said I was.
Uncle Sam may have challenged me to be all I could be, but God calls me to simply be who He made me – which may be even more challenging after all.
All too often I think our search for significance drives us to desire being more than we were created to be. But that’s pride talking.
Pride tries to prove we can be whatever we want, but humility honors who God created us to be.
Sometimes I conquer a new challenge, but the strain and stress of accomplishing it leave me feeling more drained than victorious. Just because we might be able to doesn’t always mean we should.
Knowing my limitations lightens my load.
God didn’t create us to meet every need. He formed us to accomplish the good works He uniquely designed and prepared each of us to do. I cannot do it all. And neither can you. God didn’t design us that way. I can only be who He designed me to be. If we all did exactly what He created us to do, I think we’d start to see a little bit of heaven right here on earth. Because instead to trying to do everything on our own, we’d start to value each other’s talents and begin accomplishing kingdom work together.
Leveraging our unique gifts creates the kind of community that is stronger together.
More Than I Can Be
Together we are better than we could ever be on our own. When we try to take on tasks God didn’t design us for, we start to devalue His MASTERPIECE.
The artist creates a work of art to convey a message, to evoke an emotion, to force a feeling. The painting itself does nothing. It simply hangs on the wall doing what the Creator meant for it to do. A portrait doesn’t try to be a landscape any more than an abstract rendering attempts to be a religious icon.
May this be true for me as well. I want to do only what the Master meant me to do. I long to carry only the message He wrote into my being. I hope to help people feel His love for them.
Pride lures us into being all we can be all we can be, but humility helps us find our worth in being exactly who God created us to be. I am worth more than I can be on my own when I stop striving to do it all and recognize the unique value of being exactly who God created me to be.
In what areas have you been striving for more? Together we can stop struggling to be all we can be and start seeing the value of being who God says we are.
“Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands?’”
Don’t miss the other great posts in this series:
Linking Up With
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Thought Provoking Thursday, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Grace and Truth Friday, Good Morning Monday, Soul Survival, Monday Musings, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Woman to Woman Wednesday, Women With Intention Wednesday, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday.