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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Scriptural Armory: Dealing with Disappointment


Cape Disappointment Lighthouse
"I am disappointed with myself. I am disappointed not so much with particular things I have done as with aspects of who I have become"(source: John Ortberg, The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People, 2009).
When I read that for the first time, I felt a weight lifted from my shoulders. I thought someone else feels this way?  Maybe there's less wrong with me than I thought (this is still up for debate). We're reading this Ortberg book with our small group, and the consensus is that nobody really told us when we were growing up adults don't really have it all together.

I guess I just thought all along that at some point, I would cross over this magic line and become an adult...a certified, well-adjusted, adult. I would have the answers.  I would have a GREAT job.  I would be achieving life goals left and right.  Things would be easy for me, and I would be able to show my kids how to do life without a thought that my advice is really a load of crap.  You know what I mean?  All along, my teachers, principles, astronauts, presidents, sports heroes all said I could be whatever I want.  I could do whatever I want.

Man, what a huge freaking disappointment.

Since I read Ortberg's words, and spoke with others, I'm convinced this is a pretty common occurrence. Those who are arrogant enough to think they have it all together will suffer a fall at one point or another. People have known the final outcome of hubris for thousands of years. When the Bible described the fall in Genesis, it wasn't a joke. There is something dead inside of us here.

One of my favorite passages in the entire Bible is Psalm 139:1-18.  Read it on Bible Gateway.

While I'm getting better at dealing with disappointment, it still haunts me from time to time. With our economic state, I know a lot of men have lost jobs or have had to professionally reinvent themselves.  I'm in that process right now but by choice rather than necessity (read About Me).  I'm not going to lie, it's humiliating in more than one way.  That's probably why I haven't written on this blog until now that I am a stay at home dad.  As my kids grow toward school age, I am trying to transition into a professional writer and speaker.
When I reflect on Psalm 139, I can't help but get swept away by God's love.  I'm not a very mushy-mushy Christian, but I find solace in knowing that God created me this way.  He gave me ADD for a reason.  He gave me this inner drive that most effectively drives people around me nuts.  He gave me this exact level of intellect and processing power for a reason, for a purpose.

And the same goes for you.

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