Embracing Limitations

Back in 2016 I was an outspoken critic of the Christian support behind Donald Trump, who was at the time running to be the Republican nominee for the Presidential election that year. Following the election I made a conscious choice to no longer address political topics related to the current United States President through a public forum. This has been, at times, quite difficult, but most often it has been a great relief to hold myself to stay silent.

Since then I’ve been criticized as having a privileged position to be able to stay silent and not be negatively affected by my silence. I understand the criticism, but I found that┬ámy reactionary critiques were having negative effects on my life and relationships with others. Though my silence should not be considered support, I find silence to be the right posture for myself right now.

With so much wrong in the world there can be an underlying temptation to fix it all yourself. Speak out against injustice. Raise awareness for a cause. March in the parade. Push harder. Speak louder. Leverage your voice and your life for good.

All of these inclinations can likely produce a helpful good, but where do they end? Silence has been a forced limitation in my life, which has only led me to more greatly consider the value of other forced limitations. Yes, I could do many things, but the limits operate as helpful guardrails, reducing distractions, pushing me toward what truly deserves my focus. Just because I can doesn’t mean I should.

In Zack Eswine’s book Sensing Jesus he describes the desire we often have to do everything that could possibly be done, but that “Jesus will teach us to live with the things that we can neither control nor fix.”

When we believe we must do all the things we harm ourselves and often harm others. But when we embrace the limits of ourselves we are more greatly able to be present to the things God places right in front of us.