Go ahead. Growl.
Was that the best you can do?
It doesn't matter much anyway because I've finally hit that point in my life where I am living unintimidated. Which may be dangerous - for me, for you, for the Gospel. Hopefully mostly for the Gospel.
I've spent so much of my life comparing and proving, striving to be the best because I've always thought I had to be the best. Laboring to prove myself. Doing more than I've been called to do because, well, I can. Even if I shouldn't. Lately, I've taken a step back and disciplined myself into doing only the things God has called me to do and created me to do. It's changed a lot of things.
Most notably, that I am unintimidated.
I am finally reading the books of other authors without my red pen in hand, without waiting to criticize and critique in order to show my own supremacy. You know what? There are some incredible up-and-coming authors out there, and I hope you have the chance to read some of them. (I will share as I discover them, I'm sure.) I am meeting with other artists and taking an interest in their work - an honest interest - instead of racking my brain to figure out if I've done anything that worthy or not...or if I can. I am embracing new moments and incredible opportunities in unbelievable ways because I'm no longer trying to figure out what I could be or should be doing with them; I'm just there, and let's rock this thing.
I am not intimidated by you being better than me. I am not intimidated by the moment being bigger than me. I am not intimidated by time pressing in on me. And interestingly, I'm not even intimidated by my own failures. That last one shocked even me, maybe because there are so many of them.
But I'm editing my way through Prayse (title subject to change if God would just inspire me with a better one already!) and running into some glaring failures, especially as a writer, just as I was starting to think I might get this writing thing under my belt. That used to be discouraging. That used to be intimidating. Today, I just find myself smiling - and laughing, often - because it's just a challenge. And it's one God has uniquely prepared me for. I trust in the gift He has given me, and I'm not scared of my own bad writing. I just won't leave it that way, either.
That's the key of it all, I guess. Of being unintimidated. It's trusting in what God has given me, what God has given you. It's believing He has crafted and created this unique and wonderful and capable gift within me and that it is sufficient to do as He has called me to do. Once I gave up all I haven't been called to and settled into the gift, I find that the gift is enough. For writing. For creating. For socializing. For living. For breathing. For loving. For being. It's everything; it's enough.
So go ahead and growl. Is that the best you can do? Go ahead and paint a brilliant painting, cast a breathtaking sculpture, write...*gulp*....an intoxicating story. It doesn't change what I'm doing, and you can't scare me. Heck, even I can't scare me. There is no reward, no prize, no glory in being the best at anything if you are not first and foremost the best you that can be. That's what I'm working toward. I'm pretty excited about what the best me is going to be able to give to the glory of the Gospel and to the praise and honor of God.
And I'm excited for you, too. I'm excited to see what God can do through you when you put aside being the best and hone in on being the best created you. See? Since you don't scare me, I can get excited about that. Looking around, there's a lot of good reason to be excited.
Our best selves together, let's rock this thing. It's a mighty dangerous time - for me, for you, for the Gospel - because this is how fires start. And friends? I'm on fire.