Mr. Lund will forever go down in history as being the one teacher in high school who was rude enough to give me a B.
It was my Junior year. He was so incredibly boring, I think I spent the better part of his class, Math Analysis, writing poetry in the margins of my notebook. I'm not sure if that fact is related to the getting of a B, but I'm pretty sure he just gave me one because he was that teacher: the kind who wants to ruin someone's straight A's just because he can.
That B really bugged me. If you haven't already gathered, overachieving became a sort of disease I didn't know I had for like twenty years. (If your heart skipped a beat at the sight of that scantron above, then you have it too.) And I can't really pinpoint when the change occurred, but for a handful of years now, I've considered myself Recovering.
I think the cure began to take effect when I learned about who I was in terms of my identity. Somewhere in my twenties, the truth about who I was in God's eyes began to reduce the defining potency of who I was in my parents' eyes. Or the world's eyes. Or my husband's eyes. Or, most importantly, my own eyes.
I slowly learned that I live for an audience of One.
But that doesn't mean the overachieving tendency doesn't try to sneak up on me all the time. It just means I've learned to shut it down. The truth about who I am and who I need to be (actually, who I don't need to be) shuts it down instantly.
And here's how it's working right this minute. My tendency says:
Make New Year's resolutions!
Draft up goals and visions and deadlines and promises! (Because if you make them, you know you'll keep them.)
Make it happen, and then feel good about it!
But Truth says:
Yeah, those are all good things.
But are they good for you? Right now?
Do not worry about tomorrow. (Matt 6:34)
All God requires is that you walk humbly with Him. (Micah 6:8)
Don't be anxious about anything. Pray instead. (Phil 4:6)
Cease striving, and know that God is God and you are not. (Psalm 46:10)
Truth reminds me that I don't have to do anything more than what God assigns me. That is such a relief. Because when I drum up all those extra goals and projects, all I manage to really do is wear myself out and rob myself from succeeding at my actual assignments!
I know right this minute what I have on my plate (in no particular order):
Being a daughter of the King
Home care manager
One ministry that I'm serving in
Those are all jobs He's either handed me just by virtue of my circumstances, or nudged me to take on at one point during my walk with Him. I'd say that is a lot. That list makes me really not want to add anything to it of my own accord.
So I guess my resolution is to do my current jobs well. To see my assignments as holy and valuable because they are from God Himself. I pray I can honor Him with my efforts.
The satisfaction I receive from the Lord for being a faithful worker for Him is truly far greater than any I received working for myself. Overachieving provides merely a cheap substitute for the real deal.
I think it's called Purpose.