One of the biggest struggles in my life is perfectionism. I struggle with this as father, husband, employee...you name it. It probably takes me longer than most to pull together my classroom materials because I'm always afraid I have missed an angle, it won't be good enough, or I don't have all the answers! My natural instinct is to dig deep, don't ask for help, and just get it done. In other words, I am naturally self-motivated (a good thing!), but I have turned that in so many circumstances into self-reliance.
Despite my struggles, I can see that God has brought me a long way from what I used to be. As a kid of five-years-old, I professed faith in Christ, but throughout my childhood I wrestled deeply with assurance of salvation. I would ask myself repeatedly: Did I say the right words in the prayer that day? What would others say if I questioned my salvation out loud? Did I "get saved" just so I could I could drink that tiny grape juice and eat that little wafer during Communion? In other words, have I been perfect enough for others and God?
The answer to this encompassing last question is of course, no, and that is what bothered me so much. I knew I wasn't perfect, and in my twisted logic, I could have not peace in Christ's perfection without "doing better." But God doesn't ask for those who are perfect to come to Him. In fact, that has never happened. Jesus Himself said in Mark 2:17 that there is no need for a physician if there is no one sick and that He had not called the righteous to repentance, but sinners (that's me!). What I had done for so many years was stare at my own imperfections so intently that I could not even see the perfect Son of God waiting for me with arms open. That is truly incredible, and I was incredibly self-centered...and self-reliant.
At summer camp when I was 17 years-old, I finally had enough of the internal doubt and questioning. I asked for help...imagine that! I approached my cabin counselor and he asked me a few simple questions that ended with: What do you believe right now? I knew the answer, and had known all along. It's Jesus only, and not me at all! It's Ephesians 2:8-9 plain and simple! The counselor looked at me and said to claim that, plant a flag in that truth there and then, and don't look back. So that's exactly what I did, and since then I have used 2 Timothy 1:12 to cling to the goodness of God: "For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day."
I won't stop pushing for my best, but I can now rest in the beautiful perfection of Jesus' love and sacrifice. It's not about me, it's about Him.
If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.
“Learning in Wartime” from Weight of Glory – C.S. Lewis
Friends describe me
Captain America (minus the superhuman strength and good looks)
reading, watching my favorite sports teams, spending time with the kiddos
Fantasy dinner guests
Martin Luther, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, C.S. Lewis, and William Wilberforce
Best advice I ever received
Just before my wedding, a good friend quipped that I was about to find out how selfish I was. He was right.
My worst subject in school
Speech (and now I basically speak for a living)
In college I drove
1994 Jeep Cherokee (manual) - boy I miss it
If I weren't a professor, I would
work in the travel/tourism industry or as a sports analyst
lets go with authors for the sake of space - C.S. Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, Timothy Zahn, Charles Dickens
I love watching British dramas and mysteries with my wife
Nobody knows I
scored 33 points in a high school basketball game
My latest accomplishment
getting back to playing the piano again
learning how to be a better online teacher - ha! - and military veteran stories/testimonies
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