I was driving home this morning from an appointment and I was feeling kind of sad. Lately things just don’t seem to be going my way and I find little happiness in my day to day affairs. In my head as I drove, I asked God to help me and then I looked up and there was one of those billboards with a Bible verse on it glaring back at me “My power works best in weakness.” I read it and reread it. What was that suppose to mean? Was this some kind of riddle?
I was really having trouble understanding what it meant and even after Googling the verse I lacked further clarification. My power works best in weakness? I suppose it means that at your weakest point is when you need to be the strongest. That this is the time to sink or swim- will you pull yourself out of the metaphorical gutter or just waste away? I have pulled myself out of a lot of gutters, for sure. I continue to do so on most days even my worst ones. I have done it so many times that I have become self reliant- maybe too self reliant. I do not trust nor depend on other people. After being let down time and time again, I learned that trust is not something I should exercise with anyone. Even with my closest friends and family it is difficult for me. So instead of a trusting person, I have become a more do- it-yourself-take-charge person. This does not work when trying to relate to other people, however.
I guess in a way I have become a fighter and every day it is a struggle to maintain the strength I have gained, to make the right choices and to be fair to other people without slighting them or myself. I try to exist in a delicate balance and feel my way through most situations before making a definitive decision. Even my worst decisions were things I felt needed to be said or done at the time regardless of the backlash. I do not usually stop until I reach my goals and at times that has resulted in results that were somewhat successful.
Unfortunately these virtues do not translate well when applied to relating to other people. People don’t like to be pushed. Though I understand this, I sometimes fail to recognize my behavior until it is too late. I have definitely gotten better about it and can step back easily. But still I have trouble trusting people to do what they say they will do.
It was fear that created this monster, fear or being let down, fear of surrendering control, fear of what the other person would do once the control had been surrendered. At times it seems better to hold onto and throw myself into things because letting go and trusting another person to do you right is scary. The possibility that they won’t is even scarier. For some reason it is easier to be persistent and do what you do best without waiting for the help and input of others than trying to surrender control (which can essentially be translated into “instead of trying trust”).
Someone once told me that I need to be more submissive. The thought alone made me laugh. When I think of the word “submissive” it makes me think of weakness not strength. I do not think my perception accounts for the entirety of the word. I think this part of #43 of the Tao Te Ching sums up the submissiveness this person was talking about:
“The gentlest thing in the world
overcomes the hardest thing in the world.
That which has no substance
enters where there is no space.
This shows the value of non-action.”
It seems that it is more about being yielding than subservient. I think by submissive they also meant trust and patience. Patience I can do, trust, well I’m still working on that one. Man is fallible. God is infallible. It may be a while before I can truly trust in man but until then it is calming to know I can always trust in God.
Today I felt powerless. It is not that I am tired, rather my efforts feel like they have been put forth in vain; it feels like everything is out of my control. “My power works best in weakness” must mean that when you are unable to enact the change you wish to see in your world it is best to surrender to the higher power and let God take back control of things, at least for a little while.