Live and Let Live

I saw that video a while ago, and was really moved by it. I watched it again, and again, and again, and soon enough, the bigger picture began to unfold. Why is it that we so often avoid things because of our limitations, incompetence, or inabilities? Why, when there are so many other people who can be our support and help us do the things that we alone cannot? Is it just because we want to steal the show? To be the only spotlit, center-of-attention performer -- or else not perform at all? 

Seeing this video makes me wonder how much could we do if we could only let others be for us the things that we are not... and do for them what they cannot do. It seems as if we live our lives fruitlessly trying to perform an arabesque without a leg to lift, while our healthy arms dangle uselessly. We try to choose what we want to do, when God has already chosen other roles for us -- roles that might not be as glamorous or fun as those of others, but roles that are perfectly allotted by God to make the Christian body into one complete, unified being.

I mentioned a while ago about the hard (for me) decision to become a writer. I had been jumping from one thing to the next -- trying to teach myself piano, trying to master wheel pottery, trying to learn to sing, trying to learn Italian on my own -- and ended up leaving my gift for writing stagnant and under-nourished. I was like a gardener who planted a hundred different seeds, and spent so much time jumping around from one to the next that none of them ended up growing.

I'm all for trying new things, but there's a difference between a focused, concentrated effort on several key projects, and spreading yourself too thin. I think that, if -- figuratively speaking -- God gave me a "hand" so that I could be a hand to those who have no hand, I should focus on using that hand instead of bemoaning the foot that I don't have... there are others who "be" that foot for me. That's how we are made: there are no trials that have no way out, no deficiencies that cannot be filled in by others. 

One of the central characterstics of a servant is to do your part to the best of your ability, and let others do their part. I mean, Jesus, who has absolutely no incompetencies, imperfections, or inabilities, still allows and encourages us to be his hands and feet. It's not that he needs us to do these things for him -- it's that he entrusts us to do his work here on earth. He lets us do it so that we can grow.

I guess we sometimes misinterpret messages such as "expand your horizons," or "do hard things," and turn them into instruments of selfishness. It becomes a race for quantity, not quality. You learn to sing, though you nave neither talent, nor desire, nor passion for it -- you just want to put your hundredth accomplishment on the list of "Things I Can Do." Your lackluster efforts are copied by other people who are looking for easy ways expand their lists. The standards of quality in the music world begin to fall. People who are passionate, anointed musicians get discouraged by the low standards invading the industry, and either fall to meet those standards, or choose a different path.

And all this time, your God-given talent for drawing is left neglected and forgotten by you. 

Wouldn't it have been better for everyone if you'd fulfilled your role and let others fulfill theirs? You see, that's what Jesus does -- he lets us do his work so that we can grow from it. Sometimes, you've just got to give up the microphone to the people who were meant to sing -- who will actually grow by singing.

The young woman in the video didn't try to perform lifts using her one arm -- she let the man do that, and he ended up strengthening his arms. Likewise, he didn't try to do jumps and footwork that required two legs -- he left that job to the young lady's strong legs. Together, they reinforced their strengths and filled in each other's weaknesses.

And it was beautiful.


Phylicia said...

Hello Oksana!

Thanks for stopping by my blog a while back! I am going to watch this video when i get a chance but I wanted to first say hello to a fellow Christian girl (there are so very few, you know!!) This is a great blog... maybe we can link to each other!

Oksana said...

Thank you so much for stopping by, Phylicia! :) The video isn't really an essential part of this post, it's just the thing that sparked the idea and set my thoughts in motion. It was featured on Godtube; that's how I found it.

I've added you to my blogroll! :) Your blog series on purity has been a huge help to me!

Ruthie-Roo said...

Hey oksana,
your blog is beautiful! and this post is so inspiring. thank you so much for stopping by my blog so I could have found yours!
i'll be dropping by again!
Ruth x
PS reading last few posts, and i can empathise with the tears over being at uni... why, what for, etc... God is so kind to give us glimpses of his plan!

Oksana said...

Hi Ruth! Thanks so much for visiting. :) Glad you enjoyed this post... hopefully I'll have some new material up here soon.

And I've been feeling pretty peaceful about uni ever since I decided to go with writing. I know God's got it all in his hands. :)


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I'm Oksana—Communication major, shutterbug, occasional blogger, incessant doodler, graphic design geek, and writer of sentimental prose. I am quite content to spend an afternoon with a pencil, a few blank Moleskine pages, and a playlist of indie folk. I love musical theatre, black-&-white movies, and Eastern European illustration. Conversations with strangers make my day. When it rains, I make a beeline for my mug of green tea and stack of 19th-century fiction. I'm vegetarian about 98% of the time. I'm extremely awkward and rather nerdy. I love the sea. My name means 'hosanna' and I'm having the time of my life living to praise the One who set me free.

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