The Obligatory Anniversary Blog
By Anthony Casperson
Wow. With 50 weekly posts under our belt (and 2 weeks off during Christmas/New Years) that means this week is the first anniversary of brushstrokesofatheonerd.com. I think I’m more amazed than anyone else.
But, as with all anniversaries, I feel the need to take a step back and think about the very beginning of the website. What was the calling that led to where we are now? Thus, I went back to re-read the very first post: Beauty In Pain.
It reminded me that this website is a calling to show the beauty of God even through the pain that this sin-filled life brings with it. “If we cling to God in ecstasy through the torment of the mess of this world, we can become masterpieces of the one who created the beauty that all artists seek to copy.” (Yeah, I just quoted myself.)
But the post also reminded me about how much of an imposter I feel myself to be. Not that I needed to be reminded of that feeling, but more that I’ve felt that way from the very beginning. I question how someone who struggles so much with the depths of darkness can be used by God to bring his light to those in similar places.
I write and preach about God being willing and able to help us. He’s there ready to be our help in the time of our trouble. But I often forget to live it out when I’m struggling. And there’s a part of me that still questions whether I’m the guy for this calling, as if someone will come forward one day and point out that I don’t belong here with God writing and talking about hope, faith, and such.
While in this place of dark thoughts, I was scrolling through my twitter feed. To my surprise, I found something truly thoughtful there. (No offense to the people whom I follow on twitter.)
An excerpt from the prolific author Neil Gaiman, writing about Imposter Syndrome. He tells a story from a time when he was invited to a gathering of people who had done great things. There were authors, artists, scientists, and pioneers in many fields. But he felt much like an imposter, like someone would quickly discover that he didn’t belong there.
He began conversing with an elderly man (also named Neil). The elder man eventually confided to Gaiman that he didn’t feel like he belonged among all of those great people, saying, “They’ve made amazing things. I just went where I was sent.” Stunned, Gaiman replied that being the first man on the moon counted for something.
The excerpt continued with Gaiman’s thought that if even Neil Armstrong felt like an imposter, maybe we all feel like that. Maybe nobody has it all together and figured out. And we’re all just trying to do the best that we can without a clue of how we can accomplish what we’ve set out for.
With this thought in mind, I can’t help but feel that there are plenty of followers of Jesus who feel just as much imposters in their own callings and lives. We don’t know how we can possibly have the time, energy, and ability to do what we believe God has called us to do. We look at ourselves and question our own capability to do even a part of it.
We might be called to work a 9-5, to be a full-time parent, to be a witness in a foreign country, to proclaim the truth of God to our own family, to show the beauty of God to the world, or so much more, but we feel ill-equipped for it. And I believe that’s a good thing.
God’s working in our lives is a showing of the very words we speak. We show the power of God when we allow him to work in spite of our weaknesses. He calls us to things that we could never do on our own so that he can pour his power into us to accomplish what he has called us to do.
We’re not imposters when we question and waver in what he’s called us to do. We’re in exactly the right place that God wants us to be so that he can work through us. Every one of us. We’re becoming the masterpieces of God as we let his beauty flow through us…weakness, failure, pain and all.