This semester has been one of the most challenging, exhausting, potential-for-stress semesters of my entire life. And yet, I am absolutely loving all the content I am learning in each and every class! Maybe it's because last year I dozed through classes on star formation and the 5 themes of geography (let's be honest, that stuff just doesn't pique my interest)... but all I know is I leave every day of class challenged because I don't yet know enough about how to be a great teacher and friend to the "unloveable." I can actually apply the things I learn in class Monday night to a situation I'm in Tuesday evening! If I wasn't sure if teaching/loving-on-overlooked-kids was my passion before, I'm certain of it now. I'm challenged because there is still so much more for me to learn, and the challenge excites me to no end.
It has become very easy for me to fall into the trap of "be the best [fill in the blank] you can be." Be the best student. The best teacher. The best future wife. The most competent. The greatest friend. The most reliable. The most successful. The least dependent upon Christ? The most prideful? Yep.
I'm thankful that God has planted a desire in my heart for something that matters. He has created me to thrive in a setting where there are ethnically diverse children who need someone to show them a little love. He created me to glorify HIM most in that setting, and I absolutely LOVE discovering this about myself as my life unfolds. But do you see where things go wrong? When I'm trying to be the best in any given situation in order to promote myself, I am defaming the One who gave me the abilities in the first place. This is the dilemma of a "good girl," of a girl who has always been held to higher expectations and has almost always met them. Life gets harder when you're working at it for your own gain.
It's true, you should be the best you can be, in all situations. Slacking off shouldn't be an option. But why are you being the best you can be? Is it to make someone proud? To make yourself proud? To impress others? To please the Lord? He gives grace to the humble to accomplish any task that will glorify Him alone.
"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" -Galatians 6:14