“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ?” Galatians 1:10
Have you ever been caught in that trap where you feel like you have to prove yourself over and over again to yourself, God and others? It feels like my whole life I have been on that hamster wheel of proving myself by performing and proving myself.
DRIVEN BY GOALS
At the beginning of the cycling season I mapped out four different races that I was planning on doing over the course of four months. I completed a 100 mile gravel race in May. A 110 mile gravel race in June and had my sights set on another 100 miler in July and August.
Due to some schedule changes and a new puppy in my life, I decided I would do a self-supported century on the local Fort Collins bike trails. I set out early Saturday morning for my planned 100 mile ride. I really didn’t think much of it. I am trained and fit and was prepared for a fairly easy, albeit a long day in the saddle. My goal was to finish in about 6 ½ hours.
As I was heading out, I was feeling strong. It wasn’t too hot yet and the wind seemed fairly calm. Then I noticed the wind starting to pick up and when I turned around to head back to Fort Collins I ran smack into a 17 mph headwind. At this point the temperature was climbing steadily into the mid 80’s with a higher than normal humidity in Colorado.
“You Have Nothing to Prove”
As I got about 50 miles into the ride, I started questioning my why. I wasn’t feeling all that great as I had been fighting a cold all week. I was feeling dehydrated and quite honestly I was exhausted. As I think back to all of my training rides and organized rides, I can’t recall many that I have cut short. I kept telling myself to push through and then this deep sense inside my soul said, “You have nothing to prove.”
Those words reverberated in my heart. It actually brought tears to my eyes. I have been trying to prove that I am enough my whole life. Mainly through sports, bodybuilding and now endurance cycling. I felt the presence of God when he spoke those words into me, “I have nothing to prove.” To God or anyone for that matter. I am enough.
I decided to call it quits after 60 miles. I felt the beginnings of heat exhaustion. I read the day before that a former professional football player died from heat stroke from working outside all day.
What was different for me, was I didn’t feel guilty or less than because I cut my ride short. In fact I felt really good about my decision. The words ring true that I have nothing to prove.
LIVE FOR AN AUDIENCE OF ONE
How about you? What are you trying to prove? Who are you trying to impress? I am learning to live for an audience of one. God already approves of me and loves me unconditionally. I don’t need to earn anything. Through his grace and mercy I am deeply loved. Oh how easy it is to forget this.
Let’s rest in the loving arms of Jesus and leave the performance based need for approval behind. Rest easy my friends. It’s not about accomplishing certain tasks, it’s about who we are becoming on this journey of life. God loves you just the way you are. When you start to see yourself the way God sees you, you will fully step into the person you are created to be.
I am on a mission to build a movement of men who are willing to go on this journey with me of becoming a Spiritual Warrior. My vision is to impact one million men’s lives through this tribe of Spiritual Warriors. The journey to one million men starts with one. Will you be that one who is willing to take a chance on yourself so you can live the life of your dreams? So you can live a life of purpose feeling fully alive.
The first step to being part of this community is to sign up for my Spiritual Warriors Unite Newsletter and becoming a part of our Spiritual Warriors Unite Facebook group.
One thing we must never forget that what is done for ourselves will quickly be forgotten, but what we do for others will be remembered for eternity. The choice is yours.
Troy Ismir, MS
Speaker, Author, Podcaster and Spiritual Warrior Coach