So here I am, in camp on my bed, wrestling going on in my heart. Worry fills my thoughts as I consider my Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT for short) tomorrow. Am I ready? Can I really get that gold?
A part of me tells me that my dieting and exercise over the last 3 weeks or so have gotten me sufficiently ready to get that gold – which comes with a lovely sum of $300 by the way.
Another part of me is concerned that I’ll miss the mark, maybe by a fine margin. And that’s something I seriously would kick myself over. How agonising it must be to lose out on the top prize by just a little bit.
This makes me think of all the top sportsmen and teams just missing out on that first placing in a tournament, having to take second. Oh the disappointment.
A less prominent part of me tells me that I can always retake the test, that the opportunity for it is available. And it really is, maybe in about two months from tomorrow’s test. But why wait another two months?
In saying that worship is surrender, it’s not just about laying down all the bad things that I experience, but also the honour and glory of my achievements.
But as I mull over the push and pull of my thoughts, I am forced to recognise the core issue with me through this episode. And it is that through all these musings, it is evident I don’t find my identity in Christ. That I don’t find my worth in the finished work of Christ, but in the things that I can achieve.
Sure, the glory from the gold – or for the bigger, world class sportsmen out there, the trophies – can be reflected into God. We can thank Him for the victories, for giving us our giftings and talents. We can be good stewards of them, using them excellently. And that’s great. Yet, in my heart, I know that it is not for me in my case.
It’s easy to look down on someone who has a silver or below now, because well… I’m a gold achiever. Missing the gold would effectively cause me to be in my own eyes, well, a “loser”. For losing out on the top grade.
I know the answer, that Christ is enough. And it’s not until I lay down my pride that I can truly say that He is. In saying that worship is surrender, it’s not just about laying down all the bad things that I experience, my worries, my fears, but also the honour and glory of my achievements.
It’s recognising that whatever I do, nothing is going to gain me my salvation – which is what I ultimately need, what we all need. But it’s Christ that has accomplished it all. There’s nothing we can do to make Christ love us more, His love is perfect and whole. Lacking nothing. No worldly thing can ever take away nor add to that. (Romans 3:23-24)
I’ll still give my best for the test, and whatever the outcome … I’ll be thankful and will look to always be better. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Not for my own glory, but so that I can be healthy to carry out the work He has called me to do… till the day He comes or till He calls me home.
This article was first published on Darius’ blog, and was republished with permission.