There is something that each of us possesses that drives us crazy. It creates anxiety or it can leave us feeling defeated. It leads us to over-work at times, and to be apathetic at others. We do what we can to forget this truth about ourselves, but it continues to show up day after day after day. What is this troubling truth?
We have limitations.
We are imperfect.
We are incomplete.
No matter how much effort we put into our parenting, we say things that should have remain unsaid. We miss opportunities that we should have acted upon.
No matter how hard we work at our job, there are things left undone at the end of the day, projects that could have benefited from extra time. There are endless promotions to pursue that would challenge us more and compensate us better.
Even if we do our best and attain near perfection, there is always more to be done, more great things to be seen, more people to meet, more challenges to conquer.
Ancient Israelite king, Solomon, put it like this:
“…the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing”
One of my favorite artists of all time is Johannes Vermeer. As closely as we can tell there are 35 paintings done by Vermeer still in existence today. Two of those are, for a limited time, in a new exhibit at the NC Museum of Art. It’s an excellent opportunity to see something rare and beautiful, but my enjoyment of those paintings is clouded with something else. In the midst of enjoying the paintings in front of me, there's a little voice in my mind that says, “I really wish I could see some of his other works…”
The gift I have in front of me is never enough. There is more to see, and more to do. If we are not careful, we can allow our limitations to depress us or drive us into chaotic overdrive, neither of which are very enjoyable. Perhaps the most important thing to know about our limitations is:
It’s All Part of The Plan
You were never created to be able to do it all. We are hardwired to need other people and to need God. In other words, relationship flows out of our limitations. Your limitations are on purpose, and are there with your best interest in mind. Accomplishment is meaningless without relationship. To do our best at what's in front of us, and to enjoy, embrace, and lean on other people is the key to a wonderful life. When we surrender our need to get it all done, see it all, experience it all, or do it all perfectly we can slow down and fully embrace the moments that are right in front of us. Our minds won’t shoot of into thoughts of what we haven’t seen or haven’t done, and we can enjoy the beauty that we are blessed with right now.
So, be grateful for all you can’t do. It’s the secret to enjoying what you are fortunate enough to be able to do!
Photo courtesy of Mindi Holt