Can or can’t

Devotional Blog:

Topic: “Can or Can’t”, 01/02/12, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

So about the only thing I have been able to take away from this entry was the first sentence where she quotes her son’s favorite coaching quotes.

“Whether you can or you can’t, you are probably right.”

A quick internet showed me that this quote is from Henry Ford. She then proceeds to illustrate the point of believing you can do something even if its hard by using a cheerleading competition her son was participating in. Nice as that is, I cannot relate.

What I can relate with is the feeling of utter anxiety at not being ‘enough’ in ones field, in ones life. What I can relate with is the internal fight to know whether I can or cannot do something. My Ph.D. honestly, utterly destroyed my confidence…my ability to say “I can”. Here and now, nearly two years later I am still struggling with the ability to say, yes I can do it…to know I can do it. Am I good scientist? Yes. Am I an intelligent person? Yes. If I don’t know an answer can I figure out how to answer it? Yes. Easy to say here on this blog. Difficult to live out in real life. Am I the brightest bulb in the batch? According to my previous advisor, no–but he did say I had a lot of energy and that my sheer drive and unwillingness to be said ‘no’ too would be why I would succeed in science. He was great at the ‘backhanded’ compliment. Whenever he encouraged me, I learned to wait for the ‘caveat’…it always came.

Christians have any number of responses for lack of confidence such as this…’cast your cares on God’…’you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you’…I wish words like that encouraged me as much as they seem to encourage them just by the very act of saying them.

The quote is right, in the end its my fault…I’ve said “I can’t” and well…I don’t. I’m learning to say “I can” more. Not to get intimidated, to know that God has given me the disposition and skills to handle a situation–because I can, and not let someone else figure it out.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. -NIV, 2 Cor 4:16.

Oddly, for me its the opposite. I was in theater for many years, I know how to ‘look’ the part, I know how I am supposed to ‘act’ outwardly. That doesn’t mean I am the same on the inside.  On the inside, often times I am freaking out. I think the essence of this verse though, is to just not give up. I need to learn not to give up on myself.

Short entry…but I’ve nothing more to say.