I’m not sure why I am struggling so much with self-confidence these days.
I totally thought I bombed my most recent test in Calculus. There were easily half of the 14 problems where I totally second guessed myself. After sacrificing some perfectly perfect beach weather to stay home and study, I was expecting it to be easier. It was tough!
When I got my test back and it said “96” on it, I could not figure out who would have taken my test, erased all the wrong answers and put down the correct ones in my handwriting. I didn’t bribe the teacher. I didn’t cheat. I just wrote down all the formulas at the beginning of the test and tried to follow the instructions and not choke under pressure.
Which, with a result of a 96, it would appear that I managed to not choke alright. How did I do that? And more importantly, why did I doubt myself?
I’m reminded of that story in the Bible when Jesus walks on water. Basically it’s just a guy (who is also God) taking a short cut because it’s faster to walk across than to go around. We all like shortcuts, and I’m pretty sure Jesus was a shortcut-liker himself.
Anyway, Jesus is just strolling across the Sea of Galilee. When Peter sees him, he decides he’d like to give it a try. He gets out of the boat and begins walking toward Jesus. On top of the water. Like it’s no big deal.
And then, as he is doing this miraculous water walking, he starts to doubt and sinks.
Peter and me, we are both pretty excitable when it comes to miracles. My getting A’s in Calculus is pretty much the same thing as Peter walking on water, right? I knew you would agree.
So why do we doubt that we can do the exact thing that we actually ARE doing? Jesus reaches down and saves Peter from drowning. He says – why did you doubt? Just have faith. Keep your eyes on me and you can do it.
I’m gonna borrow the Nike slogan right now (I hope I don’t get into trouble with the internet police). You know the one – just do it. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Study and practice and trust that you’re able to do the thing already. Just do it.
It sounds so simple when it’s someone else who should do the do-ing.
What is the thing that you are afraid of doing – that you’re already doing? And how do you overcome it and develop some self confidence – or faith – or trust – or whatever you want to call it? And yes, I know that throwing a prayer out helps. And studying helps. And then more studying helps. Is it praying that helps me be confident so I can do well? Or is it all that studying that better prepares me? Is it a little of both?
How would Peter have studied for water walking?
I’ll bet I’m not the only one who wrestles with this. If you’ve got a similar struggle, let me hear it! Maybe it will help me to feel not quite so doubtful.
Thanks for reading, until next time!