Know Your Gifts, Know Your Limits

Brothers and sisters:
Let no one deceive himself.
If anyone among you considers himself wise in this age,
let him become a fool, so as to become wise.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God,
for it is written:
God catches the wise in their own ruses, and again:
The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
1 Corinthian 3:18-20

I don’t know if I’d describe myself as a “control freak”. I might be a “control person”, that is, not requiring being in charge of everything, but having a role in the outcome of an event, a narrative, or a project.

In my previous profession, broadcast news, I was pretty much in charge of every aspect of my job. I had to develop a story, interview the principals involved, “take off tape”, that is, choose recorded segments of those interviews, write four or five versions of a story with different segments of what I collected, and record a “voicer” me voicing at least one version of a story for my colleagues to use on the air. After some time, this type of “control” becomes almost rote. I presume there are some places still doing this type of audio journalism, most likely public radio. I will note, I much preferred this type of task to working in television news..for me, there are too many people having to do something to get a story completed and on the air.

I was in charge, good or bad outcomes.

Some part of that learned behavior has likely entered into the classes I teach at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. I am a great believer in give-and-take among students, but obviously, someone has to create the areas of course study, the daily discussion areas, and the rules for turning in assignments. Am I “smarter” than our students? No. I am more experienced, I have the “wisdom” of life and knowing when and where to lead course topics, but I do not consider myself “wise” in St. Paul’s vernacular. If Paul’s definition of a “fool” is admitting there is much to learn, count me in that group.

We strive to complete the tasks we must as part of “this” world. The self-important, the self-aggrandizing, still have to look in the mirror every morning and face their own questions about self-worth and self-doubt before they “put on the amour” to live up to their presentation to others each day.

May God grant you and me the humility to look into that mirror in the morning light and say, “God, I am always lesser and You are always greater”. Please continue to give me the gift to know my limits, my “temporal” presentation. Your Glory is what I strive to present to others. Thank you for the wisdom to recognize how.”

Michael Throop