Sometimes I’m haunted by infinite possibilities. Acknowledging that there’s always more, always better, always refinement that can be made is part of my personality type. Sometimes this is a good thing. It helps me to take more things into consideration. I rarely make a decision quickly. If I make a big purchase, I shop around tons of different websites knowing that there could be a better deal somewhere. As a result, I get some of the best deals. Knowing that I can refine my papers more and more means that I rarely turn in terrible work. I almost always get A’s.
But this kind of thoroughness is a little bit paralyzing sometimes.
I have a vision for a limitless world, an infinite God, and that’s beautiful. But I’m just one person, and I don’t have limitless energy or infinite time on this earth. Today I was reading Emily Freeman’s book A Million Little Ways, in which she talks about finding the art that God put in all of us. In one chapter she talks about our limitations. It made me realize just how bad I am at accepting my limitations. Instead of making art with what I have now, I put it off, telling myself that soon I’ll be a better writer, editor, photographer, designer, cook, or whatever it is.
Emily says, “Our limits can be gifts if we let them be. They might show up like failure, season of life, fatigue, disability, grief, burnout. But the limits tell us important things about ourselves. They help us draw lines for margin.”
I don’t like giving myself margins. But maybe, if I allow myself to live in the realization that I can color in the margins given to me or not at all, I’ll make art in my margins and my life will be a little more colorful because of it.
“Befriend narrow limits. Let them be a reminder to you that your work and your art are impossible without divine resources. You can do nothing on your own anyway. Be relieved to show up with all of your love as well as your insecurity, your skill as well as your fear. Show up in the world and be who you already are.
Show up human. Show up authentic. Show up right where you are, with two feet on your Tuesday. And when people say, The sky’s the limit! implying there is limitless potential and you can do anything you set your mind to, remember that’s simply not true, and if it were true, I’m not sure it would be a good thing. When it comes to your influence and your ability to effect change, something has to be the limit other than the sky. Identify what those things are, set your own boundaries, and leave room for your soul to breathe.”
It’s a tragedy if we don’t use the gifts given to us because we’re paralyzed by endless possibility, especially when our Father has already so lovingly given us our boundaries. You know that parable in Matthew 25, where the master gives his three servants different amount of talents? The wise two invest their talents and double them, but the foolish one lives in fear of losing his talent and so buries it.
I don’t want there to be talents I’m not investing because I’m afraid, because I’m comparing my limits to other people’s limits, or because I don’t see the talents that He’s given me as worth using. I think what we can learn from that story is that if we’re faithful and trust God enough to use what He’s given us in the way He’s told us to, He’s going to double it, whatever that might look like.
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