The Crippling Mentality

August 7, 2009 at 3:49 am 1 comment

I’ve been discovering something over the past couple of months.  And I’m not proud of it. 

I learned that I don’t like to learn.

Sure, I like to study, to read, and to gather new information.  I’m good at that. But I don’t like to learn things that take me out of my comfort zone.  I don’t like doing things badly or awkwardly because I’m just beginning to learn them.  In fact, I hate it.  

To my shame, I’ve noticed that I’ll often try to avoid these things instead of pressing on.  Instead of stretching myself, I quit.  Even though I know how huge the benefits will be if I keep on.  Even though I know how much I’ll regret stopping, or refer to the examples in my own life where I’ve experienced the wonder of meeting those uncomfortable goals.

I was forced to learn how to study and communicate in Spanish in order to pass the AP exam.  I was forced to learn tap dancing – one kind of dance where I knew nothing about and felt extremely awkward – for my role in a musical.  Looking back, I’m so proud of what I was able to learn.  But even that is not much help when I’m frustrated with my lack of instant driving ability now.  I just want to be good, or stop.  None of this awkward learning for me, please.

Oh, what a proud (and sorry) creature I am.

The things that produce the biggest results in my life are tough – so I want to stop.

And all too often, I do stop.  I stopped trying to teach myself guitar last summer because it wasn’t coming very quickly.  And I’ve regretted it.  Yet I had no choice but to learn the tap sequences for the musical, and it turned out to be my favorite moment of the show. 

I know, in my heart, how much I gain from pushing myself.  But I also know how awkward it feels, and how much it hurts to keep going.  And too often I shirk from doing something stretching. 

I posted a few weeks ago about the battle I find myself fighting – the battle between the willing spirit and the weak flesh, and I see how now again how much it is played out in my life.  Yes, it’s played out in a spiritual dimension, but it’s also enacted in my daily life, as I fight over things like going on when it’s tough.  I recognize how much of a crippling attitude this is, and how terrible it will be for me if I stay right where I am comfortable and never learn new skills.  But I still don’t want the pain of learning new skills.

I suppose this simply a part of living in an imperfect, fallen world.  We don’t want the best things for us, and crave those which would be harmful.  Maybe…maybe this is why so often God seems to work in reverse.  He brings us things we don’t like, things we don’t understand and things we hate, because He is the only one that knows what is best for us, and our weak flesh doesn’t understand and doesn’t like it.

For now, my prayer is for strength and courage to keep on keeping on.  That my determination would win over my fear and embarrassment.  That God would give me the grace to follow the hardest routes and not cripple myself at the beginning.  God, give me grace.


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Teacherperson  |  August 10, 2009 at 3:09 am

    Good for you to recognize this about yourself! I think, deep down, we are all a little lazy and not wanting to work too hard. But we do, and we are glad.


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