This is the fourth post in a series on our inadequacy. Read the others here.
We spend so much time with protecting ourselves, though don’t we? Comfort, or the logical end of protection, is what we chase after. It’s why we sign up for 55 hour work weeks, why we spend so much of that money we earn on recreation, alcohol, big homes and new cars. Comfort is one of the chief gods of the Western world. But this god never tells the truth. No matter how much you sacrifice in the name of comfort, we are never completely protected. Tragedy is no respecter of persons. And when it comes, and it will, we learn this:
We are inadequate to protect ourselves.
When it really comes down to it, we do not have the power in ourselves to protect ourselves. And if anything, that reality presses on the nerve of our sense of self-preservation. And when that reality does come to bear down in our lives, how do we react? Do we embrace it or attempt to ignore it? Continue reading →
This is the third post in a series on our inadequacy. Read the others here.
Whenever I come out of a superhero movie, I feel a bit of a superhero myself. I’ve watched Batman be awesome and cool and save the day long enough to think of myself as Batman. When I leave the theatre, I’m not in my Golf, I’m in the Batmobile. I think of getting the bad guys, seeing justice reign, and I feel my muscles getting bigger and my stomach getting flatter. I like Batman as the hero, but really, I want to be the hero. And who doesn’t? Being the hero looks pretty cool.
But reality is obviously different than a two hour Hollywood version of a comic book. We can’t be the hero, we just don’t have what it takes. We can’t do it alone, we need others. Continue reading →
This is the second post in a series on our inadequacy. Read the others here.
We all want to be a part of something that will change the world. Or at least we really like that idea. At some level we realise that living for ourselves isn’t enough, or it ought not be enough. At the same time, we are also easily satisfied. We know we shouldn’t live for ourselves, but we really like to.
We want to end world hunger, but we also want to buy a boat.
And we vacillate between these two poles: our altruistic selves and our consumerist selves, never staying at either long enough to feel at home. We end up a little guilty, a little anxious, wondering if we’re living for the right thing or if we’re missing out. Maybe there’s a better way. That better way would start with us realising that we are inadequate in what we choose to do. We don’t have what it takes when choosing the mission for our lives. Continue reading →
This is the first post in a series on our inadequacy. Read the others here.
“Hi, I’m Greg, and I am inadequate.”
We all want to be seen as people who have it together. We set goals and meet them, surpass them even. We use every spare scrap of time to be incredibly productive and we enjoy every second of it. That’s the kind of people we want to be and, because of that, often how we present ourselves to the world.
Working hard is good. Being productive is good. Surpassing goals is good. But why do we care so much to be seen this way? Maybe you don’t care that much about it, but I bet at least part of you does. I know I do. I want to be seen as knowledgeable, helpful, someone who works hard and does amazing things. Why do I care about this so much? Continue reading →
Have you ever felt like “home” was a concept and not a reality?
We haven’t lived in Manchester long enough yet for it to feel like home and sometimes it feels like we are living “somewhere else”. We are in between home and somewhere else. Some days are hard, some more than others. For us, this is just a reality that we live in at the moment. It can be hard to live in a place full of reminders that this isn’t your home, a place that feels like somewhere else. Hopefully as time goes on and we grow in our connections to people here it will feel more like a home.
It is in this ache that we find this truth: we will always be living in this world, between home and somewhere else. Like Abraham, we are searching after a city whose architect and builder is God. Like the Israelites in the wilderness, we are caught between where we came from and where we want to be.
What a wonderful hope we have as part of the Father’s family. Our hope is that all aspects of our homesickness, and there are many aspects, will all find their home in the gift of God Himself when we are finally with Him. Finally at Home.
There is a good side to being overwhelmed even though it almost always has a negative connotation in our culture. In spite of my own reactions, I believe we ought to embrace being overwhelmed. See, in my own life, I mostly try and avoid this feeling and for many different reasons. In my modern world I have complete control over pretty much everything and this feeling of “being overwhelmed” is unnerving. I try and avoid it or dominate it, really whatever I can do to undo it. But I think I’m missing out on something important because of this. Continue reading →
The first day I moved to Manchester (almost two months ago now!) I walked quite a bit around the city centre. I was halfway trying to just stay awake, halfway powered by the adrenaline of having just moved to a new continent. I wanted to take in as much as I could. Plus it was a nice day without rain and I knew I had to take advantage of that.
I was struck that day, as I have often been since, of my own insignificance. I passed hundreds, probably thousands, of people. Buses full of people. Cars struggling through the city traffic. People on the street hurrying to their next destination. All of these people could care less about me. I’m nothing important, especially to them. As the taller buildings in the centre loomed overhead I realised in a new way how insignificant I truly am. Continue reading →
Americans have not always had the easiest of times moving to the United Kingdom. One would think the transatlantic move would actually be somewhat of an easy transition, given the similarity between the two cultures. It surprised me to hear that the average stay of an American in the United Kingdom, in any type of industry, was about two years. That’s hardly any time at all. Why is this the case?
Let me start right from the top and say this post is not a result from a large scale survey or replicable experimental model. It comes from my conversations with Brits who have experienced Americans in their culture, Americans who have lived there and moved and Americans who have been able to reside there long term. Basically, anecdotal evidence. So this really is just my perspective but I’ve had quite a few conversations with people from the above three categories (due to an obsession to learn as much as possible from them), so hopefully this information is somewhat on track. Either way, here’s what I have found. Continue reading →