If you’re like most of us, failure is not your best friend. But I have come to like the attitude one man has. “I don’t say I have strengths and weaknesses,” he says. “I say I have strengths and lesser strengths.” That’s me! Some strengths… but a great many of them are lesser strengths.
One of my lesser strengths may be in the area of art. But when my three-year-old son asked me to draw a picture of a horse on his chalkboard, I agreed anyway. And it wasn’t too bad. Well, it wasn’t great, I must admit. It may have looked a little more like a dog than a horse. But it was definitely a horse-looking animal of some sort and my young son seemed satisfied.
I left the picture on the chalkboard. The next day one of his friends stopped by to play. He spotted the drawing and asked, “Who drew the horse?”
I called down the hall, “I did!” I actually felt just a little bit proud. After all, he immediately recognized it as a horse.
There was a moment of silence as a look of confusion swept her face. Then he asked, “Did you draw it when you were a baby?”
Everyone’s an art critic.
My son’s friend just couldn’t square such a childish line drawing with somebody my age. Sure, I’d starve as an artist, but I don’t have to excel as one. I have other strengths, other skills, other abilities. And I can enjoy good art while I spend time doing whatever it is I am meant to do.
I have come to appreciate Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s perspective. He said, “Give what you have. To some it may be better than you dare to think.” I don’t need to beat myself up over all the things I do miserably. I am still learning to make peace with those things. What others call weaknesses I now call lesser strengths and look at them as nothing more than opportunities to learn.
In the meantime, I’ll give what I can and trust that will be enough.
And so, we pray: Lord, I know I have some strengths but soooooo many lesser strengths and therefore soooooo many opportunities to learn about you, your children in all places and myself. Help me to learn that which allows me to be a better channel of your love and grace. Amen
Grace and Peace