What is your greatest strength? I don’t mean strengths plural. I mean strength singular. The deepest thing. The fallback. The go-to. The ‘when-there-is-nothing-to-hang-on-to’. The deep well. The ‘I-got-nothing-else-feeling?
There is usually one really deep aspect in each of us that is distinct. From my life experience, circumstances, education, wisdom with others and reminders from sacred texts, there is one “thing” that is your particular, unique strength. If you can’t name it just yet, no worries, keep reading.
I didn’t believe in the notion that we have one core “strength” because it seemed too simplistic and I love complexity. Also, I didn’t want to believe it because it felt minimizing to my ego. I didn’t resonate in my spirit, but I’m not sure why. I can speculate that I wasn’t ready to receive it, I could say that the fullness of time had not come. I could say that my ego was too big, I could say that I didn’t allow it in because of my existing belief structure. Quite frankly, it doesn’t really matter why, so I’ve just put the why question aside and just accepted that I think it’s true.
I think stories explain things better so here is the story of Samson and Delilah. Here is the quick and dirty of their story. Samson was very strong, physically a Mr. Mighty. He couldn’t be overtaken even by the strongest of men. Samson enjoyed having a romantic relationship with Delilah. They would have pillow talk and she would ask him to tell her the secret to his strength. After a couple of conversations where he answered her falsely, she persisted in asking him for his secret code and in a particularly vulnerable moment, Samson told her the truth (which was that he had never cut his hair due to his devotion to God as a Nazarite). Delilah took the info and used it against him by cutting his hair while he slept thereby ending his super power. After his haircut, Samson’s enemies easily over took him. He was subsequently thrown into bondage, ridiculed and subjected to disgrace. Until…
We don’t know how much time passed from the sneaky haircut until the next part in the story, but after “some time had passed” (enough time for his hair to grown again), Samson prayed to God for one more surge of strength to defeat his enemies. God obliged and Samson’s strength crushed his enemies under the intention of giving glory to God.
My core, bottom-line, when-all-else fails strength is joy. I’ve recognized it all my life and it has guided me, protected me, informed me, warned me and sustained me until Delilah cut my hair. I didn’t ask for the haircut. It happened while I slept. Like Samson, I had grown complacent and proud which led to laziness and undisciplined choices resulting in bondage, however, that prision was the thing that ultimately set me free again. Bondage stinks. I don’t recommend it. If you can avoid it, I would advise you to learn the easy way whenever possible. (More details on that idea on another day). For now, I’ll give the spoiler alert that until I had all other gifts, skills, talents
Bondage stinks. I don’t recommend it. If you can avoid it, I would advise you to learn life’s lessons the easy way whenever possible. (More details on that idea on another day). For now, I’ll give the spoiler alert that until I had all other gifts, skills, talents and people removed, I couldn’t realize that the deepest, most profound, innate, unearned strength in me is joy. Ultimately to be a wise steward of my human journey, I must be a guardian of that which sustains that strength (more on that idea another time too).
Don’t forget that stories like Samson’s or mine are not principles nor law, but they are meant to remind us of the Truth within. With that in mind, here’s a little whisper coming at you from Samson and me.
1) Don’t take your gift for granted, it can go away very quickly.
2) Guard yourself from unwisely subjecting yourself to unnecessary temptation.
3) Humility has the power to restore us even in the worst of circumstances.
What is your Samson strength? Click here to share it with me in an email and I’ll be happy to be your witness.