What else eats up our artistic identity? I’d like to propose that there are baby dragons in all of our lives. Little “weaknesses” that we allow to hang around and feed on scraps of selfishness & pride. We’ve gotten used to them, or we think we are strong enough to keep them from getting out of hand. They may swallow up a neighborhood dog every once in awhile, but nothing too serious.
But the problem with little dragons is one day they grow up. That little thing you let hang around now, thinking its just a bit of a pest but not too serious is the very thing that will show up full-grown right at the moment you should be stepping into your calling and swallow you whole.
In case I’ve lost you in my symbolism and fairy-tale metaphors let me give you a couple real life examples.
Sleep. Sleep is a good thing, unless you find yourself sleeping in and missing out on the hours you should be using for something else. It seems harmless enough. And when you have a hard week, or need a vacation, it’s good to get the rest you need. But if you know you are consistently taking more than you need just because it feels good, sleep can become that baby dragon. Especially if it starts to become an escape for you. If you think it’s hard to wake up now, think about when your destiny is in full swing. Chances are when you’re living your dream your life will be a lot busier than it is now, and the little temptation of sleeping more than you need will be a full grown dragon. It’ll eat up the time you need for practice, it’ll eat up the time you need with God, and it’ll eat up those extra moments of action that make a normal life into an extraordinary life.
Alcohol. Alcohol is not bad in itself, but just like sleep, if you tend to use it as an escape or turn to it too often it’ll come back to get you. When the weight of your career or calling gets heavier, whens stress and fatigue come in, instead of turning to healthy actions that will truly relieve the weight, alcohol can turn from a little indulgence to dragon that eats away your time, your full concentration, and the clear mind and strength you need for your dreams.
Ok now for the romantics. I understand not everyone has this problem, but some of us were born with overactive hearts. It’s easy for us to fall into attraction. Some people are attracted to someone every year or two…for others it’s like, every month. If this is you, don’t feel guilty. You didn’t wake up one day and think “I think I’ll struggle with my affections for the rest of my life!” Your romantic heart is not your fault, but indulging it would be your fault. You CAN control it. Don’t let yourself give in to every emotional attraction when it’s someone you know you are not meant to be with. As soon as it rises up, cut it off. I’ve learned to thank God for this “weakness” because I’ve made a habit of running to Him every time my heart tries to latch on to another man I know would not even be an option. Though it has been one of the single-most frustrating and painful things in my life, it has also pushed me deeper into His arms than almost anything else because I know if it wasn’t for Him I’d be a heart-wreck a thousand times over. But but if I didn’t take it to Him, if I fed my emotional reactions as innocent “crushes”…how could I think I’d have strength against similar temptations when I’m in the middle of my calling? I could be married to the best man in the world and living my dream, and if I hadn’t learned to conquer my own heart my destiny could be derailed in an instant of weakness as soon as another charming man was around in my career. I’d be foolish to think I can tote around this little dragon as a pet only for it to disappear when the right guy comes along. It may hide in the shadows until the euphoric happiness of a newly wed dies down, but in the most pinnacle moment of my calling it would jump out and devour me.
Those are just a couple examples. They aren’t evil things in themselves, but that’s why it’s all the easier to justify them even when we know they don’t have a healthy place in our lives. No on is the same. We all have different dragons, so don’t judge someone else for what is a dragon in your life but not in theirs. That’s their issue to sort out. But we all need to take a good sober look at our lives and identify our little dragons. They may seem harmless right now, but I guarantee you they’ll grow up and and take you out just when you hope to be stepping into your calling. The only thing to do is to kill them now. Don’t try to stick them in a cage, or keep them at a safe distance but within eyesight. Kill it. Dead.
Don’t let your little weaknesses grow up to be life-defeating issues. Deal with them now so you can charge into your future with freedom, confidence and strength.