Did You Think You Weren’t Supposed to Be Strong?

Posted: April 7, 2014 in thriving
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I woke up this morning with a choice. We all do —  ambivalent or focused, bifurcated or fired up for a kind of single-minded success.

I chose, just what I wanted to, and not what I didn’t. I finished the book of Proverbs along with my chai tea latte and steel cut oatmeal. Super-cool wise stuff is found in Proverbs, like, “The wise prevail through great power, and those who have knowledge muster their strength.”  Proverbs 24:4-5

Kathy Korman Frey, Harvard MBA, a kind of confidence guardian, has posited that successful women benefit from their experiences of mastery, choosing to find things they do well that build confidence to do other things well.

Tea, oats, proverbs — it’s is smart to choose to grow in power. The use of power, the mustering of  strength — this is not merely the heady stuff of tyrants and despots but also the way of the godly wise. The godly wise proceed with things that build up their strength; they move forward in ways that build up their confidence.

After my reading, I went out back to my lily pond and mucked it out. I threw my aluminum ladder across the pond, crawled out on it, lay down and began pulling the last year’s cattails out.

The long webbed, fleshy roots came out with a sucking sound. The water was cold, but the day was hot and under the gaze of a gorgeous Santa Anna wind and a cornflower blue sky I mucked and tucked and chucked out my pond. Monet-like, I gently lifted my lily pads, gave them space to thrive, flipped them back upright, left just enough cattails to grace the water with height again this spring.

Then I set on the papyrus growing at both ends, cutting back the dead brown stalks, leaving the bright green new shoots to poke out of the water like exclamation points with fireworks at the ends.

Then, there, thus — I set back and soaked in, my pond, lake, sea; my strength, my chosen yard of life, my several meters of canvass to paint, my long, limned, lovely, lined, lipped, lopped confidence.

And thus it is so that this and that and those like these will lead to more and more and more of that — power! Exploding! Like papyrus in the Nile, and lily pads in my backyard pond.

I know this about myself: it makes me strong to fix things, and it really fires me up when I create beauty — a backyard pond, a school in Southeast San Diego, a school in Tijuana, a community center in Nicaragua, a church in South Africa, a church in Brazil, a church in Chula Vista.

This afternoon I write on my iPad, under the same sun that I labored under this morning, the same sun the pharaohs built the pyramids under, the sun filtered through the shade in the window at a Starbucks near my house.

I’m here because ponds and pages and the music and the smell of coffee just do it perfectly for me. Mucking out lily ponds and jungles and schools and writing blog posts — these are my mastery experiences. So too are my sermons, and my modern proverbs, my fables and modern soliloquies too.

This is what builds up my confidence — what about you?

I suggest you do things that fill you up inside.

Go grow — in strength!

By doing things!

That build mastery!

Things that decrease ambivalence.

Things that increase confidence.

Did you think that you weren’t supposed to be strong?

 

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