Tuesday, October 06, 2009

You can't grow up to be anything YOU want!

You hear that phrase quite a bit growing up. Parents, teachers, etc. often told us that with enough hard work, we could grow up to do anything we wanted to. The fact is that this just isn’t true. For example, no matter how hard Shaquille O’Neil tried, he would have never been able to be a Jockey. He’s just too big, too tall. At the same time, Emmanuel Lewis (T.V.’s Webster) could never become an NBA star; again, he’s too small. (he’s still only 4’3”).

I once had a discussion with a missionary companion who held the belief that anyone could be anything that they wanted. He argued that, if I really wanted to, I could definitely wrestle for BYU if I just bulked up and worked harder. This guy was over 6 feet tall, 250 lbs of muscle and literally looked like an ogre. His brother was a professional wrestler; his whole family was very athletic. It was in his Genes. He claimed that, before he started working hard and bulking up, he was just a little skinny guy. Really, genetics had nothing to do with his size and power? Certainly he got as far as he did by working hard etc., but, if anyone has ever met me, they would know that I don’t have the right build, or the required agility that it takes to become a college level wrestler. If I were to work really hard, I could certainly get better, probably even mediocre. I would probably never be at his level no matter how hard I tried.

I learned a great lesson once in Science class. We learned about different types of muscle. There is fast twitch muscle and slow twitch muscle for starters. Fast twitch muscle is the type of muscle we use when we need to move quickly. Conversely, slow twitch muscles are what we use to move slowly, or use our strength. As you may have guessed, a sprinter will have an abundance of fast twitch muscles and a weight lifter will have more slow twitch muscle. We are born with both types of muscles, some have more of one and less of the other. That’s why some people are naturally stronger or faster than others. We also have some muscles that will change from one to the other, they can become fast twitch or slow twitch depending on how we train them. By sprinting, those muscles become fast twitch, by body building they become slow. Either way, there are certain amounts that will stay what they are. They will not change.

In other words, God has made us to do certain things. He has made us a certain way. We are not all made to be world class sprinters, wrestlers or basketball players. God has given us the tools for us to succeed; it’s just that sometimes we think we should succeed one way, while God wants us to succeed in another. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t work hard at things we aren’t initially good at, as a matter of fact I think God wants us to do that as well. We just shouldn’t get down on ourselves when we fail.

This long winded post was really a way for me to say that, we may not be able to grow up to be anything that WE want, but that we can grow up to be anything that GOD wants.


Anonymous said...

Ian! You should go on the road and be a de-motivational speaker! Have you seen those posters? "Just because you're unique... doesn't mean you're useful." Stuff like that. Todd

Ian said...

My wife does say that i'm too negative. I think you have an award winning idea, i'll have to think about it. lol.

bint alshamsa said...

I think this is actually a very encouraging message. Being a person with disabilities, it's pretty clear to me that I can't be anything that *I* want. That can sometimes leave me feeling a bit useless. I'm not a career girl. I don't have a string of worldly accomplishments to brag about when I get together with people my age.

However, I am in a position to do things that some of the people in my social circle can not. Spring break just past and one of my friends, who is an attorney, couldn't find anyone who could babysit her child. It was just the one week where no one she usually turned to was available to help. She was downright desperate. She decided to call me and ask me if I could watch her daughter for one day.

I was able to offer to take that worry off of her hands by watching her child the entire week. She kept thanking me each afternoon. Her mother came over and thanked me, too. Then her fiance, who is also an attorney, stopped by and let me know how much he appreciated it.

I won't receive any awards for it, but I know that watching that little girl made it possible for all of these other folks to do their jobs. Their clients were able to have their attorneys representing them in court, because they didn't have to stay home the whole week. And on top of it all, I had the opportunity to impact a child's life. I could re-affirm the values that her parents are teaching her in a way that a day care center just couldn't do.

This week, I got to be what God wanted me to be and it felt really, really good. :)

Ian said...

Thank you Bint! That's actually the point I was trying to make. It's similar to the saying "Be the best you you can be!"

D.Lucero said...

I really like this post. reminds me of my intense desire to be in the NBA. I worked hard, I learned as much as I could, however the trainers that I had were all terrible and inexperienced--most players that I knew were not really good enough to make it past high school on a college team etc. My resources were lackluster and desperately incomplete in many ways..

Although I guarantee you that I must have worked at least 4 times as much as every one else that I knew that played the sport, I never even made the high school team.

But perhaps God wanted me to focus on something else that was more important, or a better use of my talents and skills. Maybe that orange bouncing ball was not as enriching as I had initially thought.

I may not have a 17 million dollar contract to play for the Celtics over the next 5 years, but I do have class in the morning. And maybe that class could be the difference!