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 Sit and listen...
Zandur of Bronte
Posted: Feb 8 2008, 10:22 PM

Questing for the Armor

Group: Members
Posts: 79
Member No.: 236
Joined: 2-August 06


This will be my final post for the night, and I look forward to hearing your opinions on it.

I know borrowing strength from Christ to overcome obstacles is a common practice amongst Christians; I heard it from that preacher at my friends memorial, and I've seen it repeated literally dozens of times on these forums.

As an Atheist, I have no connection to your God, nor anyone elses. As such, I have no "Strength" to "Borrow" from anyone. Its all my own strength. My own willpower. And its something I fight with every waking minute - and theoretically sleeping minute, if I want to get up on time tongue.gif

I'm not sure how to put this, really. Basically, I have not grown up in a "Normal" household, and do not live a "Normal" life. While my (few) friends my age are off at parties, having relationships, and attending school, I'm writing articles for magazine publication, attending racing car events, and doing other things that get me accused of being "too grown up" for my age.

You would think in my situation that I would have the strength to make the most of what I have, for I can really build myself a unique and grand future. But, at the slightest moment of relaxed attention, I find myself slipping; slacking off when I shouldnt, procrastinating when I'm overworked, etc.

Sometimes, I dont realise it until its too late, and then I have to play catch-up for the time I've lost. When I do realise what I'm doing, its a concious struggle to overcome it. I fight primarily with procrastination and weight-loss; while I do a lot of work (more than most kids my age), its never enough, and I know that not only can I push myself harder, but I can make better use of my time. As for weight-loss, I am not an "obese" kid; furthermore, I've been doing medium-intensity workouts every day for the past two years, and am in the best shape of anyone in the family - I just dont look it. (Just today I hauled most of a cord of wood over to the garage and stacked it.) As an Italian with a love of cooking and food, its pretty hard tongue.gif

Now, I know what you're all going to say... I should convert and use His strength through prayer and worship to overcome my problems.

I dont believe in that.

I've found, through a great deal of thought, that I prize my independance and would rather stand or fall on my own strength; as such, I've taken to thinking of most of my daily actions as both a test and as a battle. Instead of looking at a daunting task with the mindset of "How am I going to get all this work done", I spawn a fiendish grin and think, "Now its a challenge".

Its a hard mindset to keep up, but it has yet to truly fail me; Rather, I think that I have always failed it by not using it enough. I do not believe in those cheesy self-help tips, nor in some divine strength from the Almighty; I want to continue on my strength, and my strength alone.

I know I havnt put this as well as I could have; its hard to really express how I feel. When I was listening to that sermon at our friends memorial, and listening to how "we can pull on the Lord for all our strength; all the strength we will ever need,", all I could do was harden my own determination to find a way to overcome my own problems without drawing on anyone elses aid - even the "Lord"'s.

As such, I find reading the God Squad forums invigorating to my own cause; In what is, I suppose, a rather perverse way, it just re-affirms my commitment to my own strength. I would rather prove that I can overcome any obstacle using my own skills, talents, and wits than "Trust in the Lord" to guide me. I often find myself lacking, but all I can do is try harder. There are times when I really want to ask for help - but I refuse.

So, like I said, I often find reading this little community here supportive of my own strength, just like the rest of you do - but certainly not in the same way the rest of you do tongue.gif

I really wish I could have said this better, but... oh well. I hope you got my point.

Its a hard battle, but one I'm going to keep fighting - Alone.

- Zandur

user posted image
Posted: Feb 8 2008, 10:57 PM

sells real estate in your personal space

Group: Members
Posts: 456
Member No.: 167
Joined: 8-August 05

Something that I've come to understand is that when you ask God to lend you His strength, it's nothing like being zapped with a sudden vigor and fire to do what needs to be done. I think that makes it a little bit too easy.

I'm not saying that I accomplish things out of my own power. I was content to dwell in my hatred forever. I could give my testimony again and again but I don't think anyone could ever understand the kind of darkness I chose to live in. Even back then, it was a terrifying place. I didn't overcome that on my own.

However, at the same time, God didn't simply say, "Here you go." I'm hard-pressed to think it really works that way for anybody. Finding strength and power in God has as much to do with depending on Him as picking ourselves up and running with it.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me--not because He zaps me with the power to overcome, but through faith. It's His promise to me that trusting in Him and allowing Him to guide me that gives me the strength to move when I take that revelation and move it from my mind to my heart.

At least, that's what I've taken from my experiences.

"A hero need not speak. When he is gone, the world will speak for him."
en memoriam John-117
Posted: Jun 17 2009, 08:35 PM

Fisher of Men

Group: Assistant Admin
Posts: 6,012
Member No.: 59
Joined: 4-December 03

Wow, this is a pretty awesome topic that I'm surprised I didn't see and respond to it when it was actually hot off the press instead of a year and a half old.

Zandur, if you're still ever around, thanks for posting this. It's a cool glimpse into a mindset that is very intriguing and understandable. It does seem noble to stand up to the challenge and fight your way out no matter the odds. It's a worldview of adventure and heroism.

However, I would say that allowing God to be your strength doesn't nullify your own ability and adventure. Because if God is who He says He is, what we have to begin with is from Him anyway. And He calls us to live to our full potential. I don't think admitting we can't do something is a sign of weakness, but of humility. And it's one of those paradoxes where you have to fall to rise again, die to truly live etc. It's only when we've given ourself over to God can we see things for what they really are.

I'm not sure if I'm really making much sense here, so I'll turn to a pictorial explanation. This is what we usually think we can do:
user posted image

This is actually our ability:
user posted image

God doesn't come in and do this:
user posted image

By living within us, He does this:
user posted image

(These pics are from my church)

The image in my avatar is a picture from the Hubble Telescope of an "X" structure in the core of the Whirlpool Galaxy 15 million light years away. Looks strangely similar to a cross. Is God trying to get our attention?

תַלְמִיד יֵשׁוּעַ הַמָּשִׁיחַ בֶּן־אֱלהִים חַיִּים
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