Focusing has always been tough for me. As a child I was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, and I’ve taken medicine for it off and on for most of my life. Whether it is staying in tune with a group discussion, or processing abstract concepts, being able to wrap my thoughts around something is quite exhausting. For example, if you do a search, you’ll notice that generally my blog posts here are shorter than the other bloggers; also, they feature either experiences I’ve had with the Lord, or I’ll just point you towards a movie or song or something. Generally I don’t delve into abstraction that often.
All this adds up to feeling inadequate and sometimes like an outsider amongst the other workers and bloggers. Either in person or online, it seems like everyone always has a lot more to say about issues related to Christ than I do. Whether they do or not is immaterial: we draw near to him and He draws near to us (James 4), and He gives us whatever revelation He chooses to. So I remind myself of this whenever those thoughts present themselves. This temptation to delve into self-focus has been a feature of my life for many years now.
Recently however, the tone of this spiritual battle has taken an unexpected twist. Someone told me that my mental impairments may be related to a head trauma I had as a child. When I was about 11, I was hit in the head with a metal pole. Its possible that I may have suffered a concussion from it. I considered getting an MRI but my doctor said at this point (~25 ys later) it would be inconclusive. In pondering this, I wondered: is it possible that I really do have a brain injury? And if I do, maybe this could be something God wants to heal me of and deliver some more “talents” to me after being faithful with the talents he has given me (Matthew 25:29). [FYI, concussions also can lead to someone having an impaired sense of smell, and I have a very weak sense of smell, so there actually is some evidence of a lingering injury.]
So last week I went to a healing service at a local institutional church. The format was quiet prayer/beholding for an hour, then a message, then go to the front to receive prayer. In the middle of hour long prayer time, I sensed that He wanted me to watch a clip of my newest favorite show, Rick and Morty. The one minute clip exhibits two principles: that whatever role your Creator has for you, accept it; and also that the amount of talents He gives you should be accepted with joy and gratefulness instead of feelings of “not enough”. Here is the clip:
So the butter passing robot was depressed that his creator made him to do something he deemed insignificant, and the father wasn’t satisfied with his level of intelligence.
So consider this: I’m at a healing service to perhaps improve my mental cognition and (I believe) He has me watch this clip illustrating these points. In thinking about this, I realized that I am not yet fully content with the talents He has given me, which I gotta think makes Him sad (not to mention the potential insult to Him in that the created being, me, is basically sending Him the message that He didn’t do a good job in making me). Notwithstanding the brain injury I may have, He nevertheless could have prevented it if He had wanted to.*
So the quiet time ends and a pastor named Lisa gives a message. In it she quotes John 14, and in looking at the chapter, I noticed verse 26: “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative-that is, the Holy Spirit-he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” This is the perfect verse/promise for my situation! I often have to answer questions and/or be looked at as a leader in some capacity, and it is so comforting to me to know that as HE dictates, he will remind me of verses or analogies or whatever-this-particular-person-needs in order to be a conduit of Truth. While its true that I feel like I am not saying enough, that doesn’t mean that Jesus won’t give me the words to say as He needs me to. For example, after two years of giving talks to church groups, he has gradually led me to prepare less and less in advance, which is definitely not my preference. I like to know exactly in advance what I will say so that nothing has to be done “in the moment.”
So in considering all this, I thought it Wisdom to not even focus on being healed from an injury that might not even exist, but rather to do the longer, more time-consuming work of being satisfied in who He has made me to be and being grateful for my position in Him. In my view, character issues are more important than talents/gifts, and I’d much rather have a character that more closely resembles Him than a wider array of talents/gifts.
I stayed till the message was over, then quietly walked out and didn’t even ask for healing prayer.
*I realize this could delve into “does God allow tragedy or does He promote it or is He uninvolved” theological debate, but for the purposes of this blog, I simply put forth that I have faith that if He had wanted to stop it He could have.