by Bob Allen:
Our bodies work against an irresistible force every moment of every day. It’s amazing to think about, though. We don’t begin our journey through life “able”. We are born without the strength to even hold our heads up against the natural gravitation of our world. But by the grace of God most learn, grow, and develop, eventually gaining enough strength to control the lolling back and forth, to reach the Cheerio and put it in our mouths, to wobble ourselves from our backs to our stomachs, to push up off the ground and crawl, to push up off the ground and stand, to step-stumble-stand-and-repeat, to run. Life from birth follows the path of mastering gravity. We’re pulled to the center of something we cannot resist.
It may seem unconnected, but I was considering the dispositions of people the other day, thinking through the implications of optimism, melancholy, dependence, insecurity, confidence, happiness, and the like, and a question sprung to mind: What does it look like to embrace our dispositions? In thinking through answers to the question, I began to wonder if people miss something profound when they seek ways to extract themselves from their moods. I think these are all gospel issues. Let see if I can explain it in a way that makes sense.
Because I am an insecure person, my insecurity drives me to look for compliments, for praise, for pats on the back knowing full well that those compliments, praise and pats on the back won’t keep me from feeling insecure. Based on a one-time performance, they multiply anxiety. What if the next time I don’t deliver? What if I err? What if I don’t meet people’s expectation? What if they begin to see that I don’t actually measure up? What if people see past my facade of feigned ability to my failure? These are all questions with which I deal on a regular basis. Take insecurity off the table for a moment; what about the melancholy person, the one who sees clouds everywhere? What would it look like to embrace that? Or, perhaps, the confident person—what would it look like to seize on that?
Ultimately, each of these personal dispositions points to the experiential truths we perceive which connect us to the absolute Truth. My insecurity is born out of a sense of never being good enough. Guess what? I’m not, and I’ll never be. The gospel tells me that is ok. Melancholy rises through a sense of loss or fear. Something has been lost. There is something to fear. Confidence is rooted in sufficiency. There is One who was sufficient, not yourself mind you, but there is a surety to be had if you’re looking in the right place.
Everyone experiences life differently, but to embrace your natural emotive state is to accept who you are and then examine what who you are says about reality; to embrace your disposition is to look for the answer beneath the surface, to see how it connects your soul with God’s plan for you; to succumb to the natural gravity of how God created you; to not struggle against it; but to fall into it.
So go ahead.