Monday, May 6, 2013

The Can after Can't

At the Orange Conference in April, speaker Bob Goff said that his least favorite word is "can't."  (His favorite word is "whimsy," by the way.)

Oddly, I have been liberated by the word "can't."  It has taken me a long time to realize what I can't do.  I can't make people make the right decisions.  I can't make people show up at church.  I can't produce spiritual work.  I can't manufacture anything of spiritual value.  I can't know everything.  I can't make people like me.

I have tried for decades to do all of those things.  Only God can do spiritual work of eternal value.  I can cooperate with him while he does it, but I cannot make it happen myself.

Once I work through the can't, I get to the can.  I can be free.  I can stop beating myself up for failing to produce what only God can do.  I can cooperate with him.  I can be obedient, and watch God work.  I can find real joy.  I can let go.  I can stop bearing the weight of the world on my shoulders.

I can be bold.  I can take risks.  I can fail.  I can have fun.  I can succeed.  I can take the next step in my journey with Jesus.  I really can, when I stop trying to do what I can't. 

Deep breaths.  Deep breaths.  Feels good!