Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I Tried to Be Supergirl

And since I'm human, I failed.

I've mentioned before that I've been trying to squeeze my current correspondence course requirements into a shorter timeframe. That's what I set out to do the moment my books arrived two weeks ago, and, well, that's somewhat why I failed...

When my "schoolyear" officially began, I set out as ambitious with my personal goals as ancient China was with the Great Wall. I wanted to do a nearly triple-dose of the suggested study pace, I wanted to maintain all my ministerial duties, I wanted to keep my cyber-life almost as active as before, and I wanted to do a thousand other things. Many people died building the Great Wall, and many parts of me died these two weeks. I lost all quality time with my family, I was always rushed even when expressing concern, I couldn't read, I couldn't help around, and I had no time to rest.

I tried to be supergirl, and since supergirl doesn't exist, I failed.

The first reminder was my health. Having no time to eat, sleep, or exercise well, I lost weight "without reason." My eyes and back became unduly strained by long hours at the computer.

Reminder number two was my mom. She was nagging me since day one that I was over-shooting my goals, but I dismissed her advice as mothers-have-to-nag syndrome. "I'll prove I'm okay," I thought. Well, I was okay for a week, during which I used up all my reserve energy. After that, I faltered, often leaving work undone or just nodding off everywhere around the house.

Yet still I was insistent. Surely I could achieve what God would have me do, right? His strength shall be sufficient for His work, right?

Then strike three was Elizabeth Elliot in her book Discipline: "There is always enough time to do the will of God...when we find ourselves frantic and frustrated, harried and harassed and hassled, it is a sign that we are running on our own schedule, not God's."

Ouch, now that hurt. Yet at the same time, it relieved me, because it showed me the problem.

While I am too happy with studying to be frustrated, I really have been "harried and harassed and hassled." I had been running on my own schedule, not God's. When I think about it, God never required me to cling obstinately to all my activities while studying overtime. God never told me I had to finish 33 lectures, four books, and two major papers by the end of the year, even while handling camp, Christmas, and other matters.

Well, if it hadn't been from God, then from whom?

Me, it had all come from me and my stupid pride. I was the one who wanted to be a non-resting, over-achieving supergirl. I was the one who wanted to outpace even my parents' expectations and awe everyone with the amount of responsibilities I could handle. While it's true that God wants me to maximize my time and perhaps give up an addiction or two, He never told me to cram like crazy, never rest, and neglect everyone around me.

God never wanted me to be supergirl; He only wants me to be His little girl, a sinner child adopted by His grace.

I tried to be supergirl, because I thought it would be cool. I tried to be supergirl, and thank God I failed. After all, that's never what I was meant to be.

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