Let’s get something straight from the start of this post: I am not a warlock. I have neither tiger blood nor Adonis DNA. I have, however, been awkwardly using the term “winning” for years, long before Charlie Sheen was winning Being An Insane Megalomaniac.
“School is hard this semester,” a youth would say.
“Are you winning?” would be my response.
A blank stare would follow –the VERY SAME blank stare Mr. Sheen gets whenever he says something like “Aliens have requested my sperm to help regenerate their lost pantheon,”– and the youth would say something eloquent like: “wha?”
“Winning school…” I would say, and the conversation would degenerate from there.
Now, as I’m pretty sure I’ve said before, I like winning. It validates me. It probably shouldn’t, because I know I should find my validation more in relationships, particularly my relationship with a Creator God who loves me and pursued me to the grave. That’s all good, but I still like winning. There has to be a point system or objective to every game I play. “Just for fun,” isn’t enough; I want to be able to win.
My friend Derek has a blog that he started recently: dereksoundguy. Derek is the new Tech Director at Heritage Park Alliance Church in Windsor. That’s a Big Deal, because it’s a Big Church, and Big Churches get Big Guys to do Big Things. He’s an amazing guitar player, a brilliant sound tech, and most importantly a great guy. And he’s pissing me off because he’s winning blogging.
Derek’s blog is still pretty small in terms of post numbers, but he’s being consistent and posting almost every day. I don’t feel like I have either the time, or the worthwhile stuff to say to be blogging every day, but when I see his posts popping up in my inbox, I feel the pressure to post because he’s beating me! He doesn’t know that we’re competing and he’s winning. What’s up with that?!?
So here I am hauling myself back from artificial competition again. What is it inside me that feels the need to be measured against other people; to have some sort of empirical proof that I’m Good? Why can’t I be Good unless I’m winning? Why can’t I be Good unless I’m being better than the people around me?
We’re made to be in relationship. We’re created to be in community. That doesn’t work if one person is trying to do everything, or making other people feel unnecessary or inadequate (all too often the flipside of winning). Last night I hurt a friend of mine through what seems to be a perpetual need to one-up… She made a comment about an issue that was Big in her life, and my one-upmanship made her feel like I deemed that her concerns were invalid and that she was petty for voicing them.
In trying to somehow prove I’m not Broken, I’m running the risk of breaking relationships. This is why I’m striving to let go and embrace my Brokenness. John the Baptist said of Jesus “he must become greater; I must become less [John 3:30].” I’ve got to become less so that everyone around me can become greater. In my relationships I can be so much greater than I am alone. If I can let go and get out of God’s way, he can do so much greater things through me. Why do I get in the way of that?
I’m going to be so much better off when I figure out how to be winning Being Broken.