we're born weak and usually die the same way.
We begin with weakness, utter dependence, we build and build our strength, independence. We grow. We may experience many dips and climb back up out of them somewhere in the middle there. . but finally we taper off once more, declining,waning,losing all that we had worked had to gain,
making it all seem like an illusion
which in a big way it is.
I remember back, feeling so proud to be a 'big girl'... riding a two wheeler, swimming and skating on my own, crossing the street without an adult. I was so impatient to grow up, be older and stronger, be taken seriously. I have this memory of flexing my bicep to my dad, saying "Look how strong I am, Daddy!". He poked the muscle and jokingly said: "That's just a sparrow's kneecap, kiddo." I remember being mightily offended. I thought I was so strong. He knew otherwise. As life progressed i went on to bigger and better things like having my own library card, taking the bus, using the stove by myself *and setting the oven mitts on fire*!getting my first babysitting job, my first Royal Bank of Canada, "Leo the Lion" account, learning to drive, choosing courses at school. .
We all feel that same hurry to grow up, be older, be independent, live on our own. Proper thing too. The alternative is unnatural. To stay dependent is not right. Independence is our much desired goal. . and well along on the way to meeting that goal, most of us easily fall prey to the notion that we have accumulated lots of knowledge. This exposes us to the danger of unteachability. We set up like cement. We've arrived. We're strong. We have a stockpile of mantras and dictums and we believe most of them... make it happen, believe and achieve, good better best, never let it rest, upwardly mobile, only the strong survive, what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger. .these help us to climb. . but just when you think we've arrived, there's a sudden encounter with weakness.
You're very sick.
You've had surgery.
You've received terrible news.
Your health is under attack.
You've lost your job.
Your marriage is on the ropes.
Your best friend is dying.
All your strength. Where is it?
You feel as weak as a kitten.
You are weak.
But you're supposed to be strong. This wasn't in the plan.
This is too much.
Can't do it. .
faced with weakness,
the illusion of control is gone
your strength had convinced you that you strength was all
but weakness is here to teach you that your strength is not all.
Not even close.
When weakness comes to you, it is very often your maker telling you:
"My gracious favour is all you need. My power works best in your weakness."
I think the only times he can get our attention is when we are helpless,
We've all been conditioned in order to survive. . get strength, be strong, keep strength.
Like a child who tells their grown up: "No! I want to do it myself!"
Like we tell each other "Thank you, but no, I can manage."
Like we tell him, "I've got this."
When we really don't and we can't.
This is why weakness comes, to punch holes in our resolve and stoicism.
and let us feel vulnerable.
and let us rely on someone.
our cleverness is a trap
our bravado is a cloak full of holes
and friends may pull away,
then we are privileged to know
that there is but one to rely on,
who helps us gain knowledge,
paradoxical knowledge of the purest kind.
that our strength is an illusion
that punched full of enough holes, and empty of our reserve,
we are finally able to receive the pure light of his strength.
It exceeds our capacity to contain it.
Here, in abject weakness, full of holes,
the paradox is revealed
and we understand just a little bit
that living on his borrowed strength
is how we are healed