A Seaman's Quest

One man's search for truth

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My Primary Struggle

Each of us have a single primary struggle. This is a lifelong challenge that touches our reason for life. We never win this battle permanently. It is something that determines the very integrity of how we live.

This is the very place where we find God, and the place where we discover ourselves. The quality of life itself is determined to a large extent by how we are able to manage this primary conflict.

For me this key battle is to truly understand the difference between Doing and Being. When I was a child I believed that my worth as a human being was determined by what I could do. This false belief has reacked havoc in my life.

Performance orientation has been the key challenge that I have faced each day. When I perform well I am happy and content. This also makes me proud and arrogant and critical of others. On a good day performance orientation destroys my relationships.

When I do not perform well, I become despondent and despairing. If my worth is determined by what I do then I can never fail without falling apart. I see myself only based on my last failure. Successes are put aside quickly as I am far more sensitive to the failures.

This viewpoint is carried into all of my relationships to others, to God, and even to myself. I feel that I am always trying to earn my right to exist, and that I am only one failure away from ruin.

I crave the approval of others and am in need of constant affirmation. My entire life has been affected by this reality and have searched in many areas to find the answer. Ultimately, I know that there will be not true peace outside of receiving the love of God in my life.

Reveling in God's presence is like basking in the sun. I know that true peace can never be found as long as I define my worth by what I do. The Spirit is doing a deep work of transformation in my heart. This work is far from complete, but well under way.

I am not the man I once was, but I am also not the man that I will be. Failing is this struggle is like all failure, an invitation of the Spirit to go deeper and grow in understanding.

My true worth is based on God's love in my life, not what I do. God is the initiator and finisher of this magic work. All I can do is yield to the process that is happening in me, and rejoice in the overwhelming love that drives it.

The very purpose of my life is simply to be loved by God and love him back. This is the definition of life itself.