Do you ever catch yourself doubting that you can accomplish something great? Do you ever think to yourself that you just don’t have what it takes? I do. I look at some people around me who have accomplished truly admirable and great things, and I think that they must be special or gifted. That they have “what it takes” and perhaps I’m just more of a middle of the road achiever.
Recently I sat in the car, listening to a book called Do Hard Things with my son, who is twelve. He’s on the precipice of teenager-hood (Lord help me), and his dad recommended that he read this book. It’s been a very interesting book so far. Essentially, it discusses how the teen years do not need to be a wasteland of partying and mindless irresponsibility. It encourages young people to spend their time doing what they are meant to do, and preparing for a lifetime of greatness. It causes me to cringe a little at how I spent my teenage years – I didn’t exactly define “ambitious.” I had good friends and we’ve all turned out to be productive members of society, but had I applied myself differently during those years, who knows where my path would have led.
I don’t lose much sleep over that, though. What’s done is done, and I know that there are still many great years ahead of me to experience life and pursue dreams. But what this book, and my son, are reminding me of, is that greatness lies within all of us, because God is there. Yes, we may do ourselves a favor by starting earlier and avoiding the Teenage Wasteland. But regardless of our age, our power comes from the One who gives it. I have some things I’d like to do well at, and I’m going to need to focus and dig deep to get it done.
But I think about what I would (and have) told my son. If he’s doubting his abilities, I always remind him what an amazing person he is, and how God created him to do something special. I see his greatness so clearly from where I’m standing. But I also know that he has strongholds that he’ll have to fight against if he wants to achieve that greatness. The more I think about what I see in my son, the more I realize that it all applies to me, too. And while I may not have my mom around to tell me these things every day, I do have my heavenly Father, who is always ready to remind me.
He is my source and my ally, and he created me to follow my passions – and to find my place in His God Story.