Growing up I was one of the kids always picked last in gym class. Although I remember cringing sometimes, most of the time I just did not care. I wasn’t a particularly uncoordinated kid or overweight or weak. My issue was being afraid to really try for fear of making a fool out of myself, which in itself was kind of funny, since I spent most of my time purposefully making people laugh. No one tortured me or made huge fun of me either. They just didn’t want me on their team. Fine.
I was not put in honor’s classes or even among the smartest of my class all the way through high school and into my first year of college. I can’t remember ever feeling hugely inferior, but I do remember being irritated always being in the mid level groups, but not irritated enough to do anything about it. I’m not even sure I realized there was something I could do about it.
Long about sophomore year in college, I took a sociology class, taught by a highly unconventional professor. Although I cannot remember the details, I remember how infuriated my classmates used to be in this class. They couldn’t understand his methods. He didn’t follow a lesson-plan. He didn’t test us. He required us to write papers about odd topics. What amused me most was that I understood exactly what he was trying to do, from the very beginning. I sat there, day in and day out listening to him speak, wishing I could stand up to say to my classmates, “Just hold on…eventually what he’s doing will make sense to you.”. The first time I wrote a paper for him, I received an A+. The second time I wrote a paper for him, I received an A+ and so on. I couldn’t believe it. One of the by-products of taking his class was the realization that if I knew who my audience was, I could really write. I started applying this to my other classes. It worked every time. Before I turned around twice, I was a straight “A” student.
The key, I believe, was in my applying myself. How many of us used to get the report from parent-teacher conferences: “Does not work to full potential”, “failure to apply oneself”. I never knew what that even meant until college.
Junior year in college, I was looking for an easy credit to take for my P.E. requirement so I took, “Walking”. (I fig ured I already had a jump on this one since I’d learned to walk early in life.) Imagine my chagrin when it turned out that this was one of the tougher classes I’d ever taken. Ha, the joke was on all of us looking for an easy “A”. We were tested every week on anatomy, physiology, health, fitness, nutrition etc. In addition to this we were required to do “timed” walks several miles a day, right from the very first day. Again, I made a shocking discovery: I liked to finish first. By then end of this class, I was actually running five miles each period and because I enjoyed “winning”, I was pushing myself harder and harder. No one scored higher than I did. No one went faster than I did.
What’s the point? I grew up thinking I wasn’t athletic. I always knew I had a quick wit, but I don’t think I ever realized just how capable and smart I could be until later in life. I don’t think anyone ever really put a label on me or threatened me in any way, but I definitely lived under a mistaken impression for a while.
I wonder how many of us are still living under a mistaken identity?
Today is a perfect day to reflect on the fact that we are all part of a consistent evolution.
What can you do today that you thought you’d never be doing in your life? What do you still want to do?
We’re not wearing concrete shoes, ya know. What are you waiting for?
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on discontent, because the Word says: “I have learned in whatever state (circumstances) I am, to be content.” (Philippians 4:11)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on unworthiness, because the Word says: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on confusion, because the Word says: “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.” (1 Corinthians 14)
Prayer for Today:
Each day is a blessing
of epic proportions.
I give thanks for
what might seem meager comforts:
real cream in my coffee,
a day without a bill in the mail,
the Paso Doble.
Sometimes life is a dance
a woman has to do backwards
pushing against the wind
and obstacles in the way.
Thank You for being the partner
who always leads.