I’m writing. Right now. I’ve just been studying, and I’m about to be studying, because I have finals next week and this ain’t the kind of content that I can master without some serious work.
Which leads to a thought I’ll share with you.
When I was young I never worked hard (or at all) in school and college. I was almost proud of the way I wouldn’t work.
Three reasons for that: (1) I thought success was increased if you did a thing with little to no effort, (like, if I could pass a test without studying.) (2) I think I had a deep fear, not of failure, but of TRYING and failing. Like, if you try and fail then you look like a loser, but if you don’t try at all and you fail, well – then you can still say that you COULD have mastered it if you’d tried. (3) I thought it was cool to not care. I didn’t want to be one of those ‘studious’ kids. I wanted to be a hip, non-caring-about-academics type of kid: ‘cool’.
Thank God for age and life and time and maturity.
I freaking love being in school as an adult and one of the BIGGEST reasons I love it, is because it shows me how much I’ve changed.
- I define success differently. It’s not about getting away with something; it’s not even about how I score on a test. Now, I’m proud of working hard. When I hand in a paper or walk into a test, I feel really accomplished. As cheesy as it is, I really genuinely feel like I’ve succeeded already – no matter the outcome – because I know I’ve given it my best and I worked hard.
- I’m more secure. Sweet Lord, I love the feeling of being willing to fail, not having to fight for anything or prove anything. I love the depth of community you get when you’re not afraid to invite them into disappointment, even embarrassing disappointment. I love not worrying about looking dumb or getting the wrong answer. It feels…like…heaven. And I owe that all to Jesus and a Gospel that has taught me how to believe I’m loved and wanted and safe regardless of how I perform.
- I define cool differently. Last but not least. I no longer think it’s cool to not care. I no longer think it’s cool to skip steps or not work hard. I think that’s a waste of time and money and life. I wouldn’t be doing this degree if I didn’t care. I’m not interested in getting away with missing lectures or acing a test without learning the material. That seems dumb, not cool, to me. Why would I be doing this if I didn’t ACTUALLY want to learn?
So, maybe there are some spiritual metaphors there, or maybe some good lessons for young students, or maybe just some pros about getting older.
Enjoy your Saturday. Work hard at whatever you’ve been given to do today.
Don’t forget to find success is in the faithfulness, and let God take care of fruitfulness. Don’t be afraid to try today. Don’t even be afraid to try publicly today. It’s okay if you’re not as good as you want to be and it’s okay if other people witness that. You’re free in Christ to try all the things and fail at most of them and laugh and love the whole time.
- What are the things you avoid doing or letting others see because you’re scared you might not be good at them?
- What is success to you? What makes someone cool to you? Do you think your thoughts on these things line up with God’s? Line up with what you would hope they would be?