CONTENT WITH WHO YOU ARE - The Warrior's Journey®
Insignificance

CONTENT WITH WHO YOU ARE

Author: David Causey, USA (Ret.)

Sniper Training. Photo by The U.S. Army is licensed under CC By 2.0

A few days ago, several news agencies ran the story of a Las Vegas medical clinic. This clinic offers to increase a person’s height by three to six inches.  This process requires an initial surgery in which a remotely controlled device is screwed into the interior of the patient’s femur or tibia.

Growing Pains

U.S. Army Paratroopers assigned to 54th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade, and Slovenian Armed Forces conduct urban breach training as part of Rock Tundra at Pocek Range in Postonja, Slovenia, Dec. 5, 2018. The 173rd Airborne Brigade is the U.S. Army Contingency Response Force in Europe, capable of projecting ready forces anywhere in the U.S. European, Africa or Central Commands' areas of responsibility. (U.S. Army photo by Paolo Bovo)

Then, after about a year, a follow-up surgery is required to remove the device once the desired height is reached.  In between these surgeries the patient is required to daily press a button on the remote.  This electronically fools the brain that growth needs to occur in the leg bone.  The attending surgeon at the LimbPlastX clinic, Dr. Kevin Debiparshad, stated that the initial surgery only lasts one and a half hours.  Its largest clientele are men (about 90%) who are five-feet, six inches tall.

Limb-extending surgery has been around for about a century.  However, until recently it was reserved for combat and traffic accident victims.

“Why wasn’t this surgery available when I was a young man?”  Yet, it has its problems.  For one, its price tag is $75,000, which most will find prohibitively expensive for merely improving one’s self-image.  Wouldn’t it be wiser to be content with who we are than to spend one’s life trying to be something other than what God created them to be?

False Identity

Another problem with this surgery, perhaps the most important, is that it takes a perfectly proportioned short person and makes them an ill-proportioned tall person.  The patient will become a taller person.  Yet they’ll have an eerily-small head, hands, and feet.  Their arms will also be shorter and their shoulders more slender than what is normal for a person of the same height.  Then, instead of having issues with their short stature, they’ll now want to hide their other “smaller than normal” features.

This raises an even more important factor.  Just because a man is taller does not mean he can he now perform a bigger man’s job.  He’ll be more lightly built than most other men of his stature.  The bones of his hands, limbs, and back will still be as narrow as those of a shorter man.  So he won’t want to become an athlete, especially in boxing, football, or any other contact sport.

Pit Of Comparison

U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Michael Fink, who serves as a platoon leader with the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, Inf. Brig. Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, and a Fijian Soldier serving with the 3rd Battalion, Fiji Inf. Regt., transplant a piece of healthy coral by fixing it to a steel grate with cable fasteners, during a coastal and reef revitalization project for Exercise Cartwheel 2019, near Nadi, Fiji, Aug. 13. Part of both the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command's defense strategy is to addresses climate change. Opportunities, such as Exercise Cartwheel, provide a platform to deepen understanding and preparedness, which strenthens and enhances key relationships with partner nations for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

In a way this desire to be taller, to improve one’s self-esteem, is a metaphor for something that frequently occurs within hierarchies.  Most people in our culture derive their sense of self-esteem and self-worth based upon what others say about them, upon their body image, and upon how high they climb the corporate ladder.  This last source of self-esteem drives many people to pursue promotion to the highest level possible.  And they do this regardless of how little they’re actually qualified for the next level of leadership.  Thus they’ll tend to rise to – and get stuck in – a level in which they are incompetent for the job.  This, of course, is an example of what leaders and managers know as “The Peter Principle”.  They’ll get promoted to a “bigger man’s job.”  But this does not mean they’ll become a bigger man.

Therefore, depending upon promotion for one’s sense of self-worth has a serious downside.  For, when he or she arrives at their level of incompetence, their deteriorating performance and sense of being “in over their heads” destroys any self-esteem they had.  And if they perform so poorly at their present level, it’s unlikely they’ll get promoted to a higher one – further undermining their self-esteem.

Be Still

Paratroopers from 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment conduct a training patrol alongside British paratroopers of 2PARA, 16 Air Assault Brigade on November 28, 2018 in Kenya, Africa. The training scenario was part of Operation Askari Storm, a multinational training exercise occurring in Kenya, Africa between U.S., British and other partner-nation forces. The training focuses on increasing the readiness and interoperability of the participating forces while placing them in tough, realistic scenarios against simulated near-peer adversaries.

The best source of self-esteem, however, is not from the praise of others or one’s body-image or from promotions, positions, and titles.  The best and most solid source of self-esteem is our personal relationship with God.  To know that God Himself knit us together in our mother’s womb and chose every component of our personality, every characteristic of our physical body (gender, color, size), and every gift and talent we have fully legitimizes who and what we are (Psalm 139:13-18).

To know that God Himself chose the time and place of our appearance on this planet validates us and authorizes us to take up space on earth to do the work He’s called us to do.  There is no need to measure up to someone else’s concept of the ideal gender, the ideal person, or the ideal spouse or parent or worker.  God made us all according to His own specifications.  And He specified that each of us would be distinctively different from everyone else.

Therefore, rejoice in who God made you and in the work He’s called you to do.  God is both your immediate and ultimate supervisor.  You only need to be concerned with pleasing Him (2 Corinthians 5:9; Ephesians 6:5-6; Colossians 3:22-24).

PRAYER

Dear Father in heaven, thank You for what You have made me and for all that You have commissioned me to do.  You are the source of my validation, legitimacy, and worth.  I praise You that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Help me to glory in that fact and to only seek You as my source of self-esteem. Amen.


Photos:
-https://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/45305229655/
-https://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/45074313884/
-https://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/48625927013/
-https://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/45591282504/

(Information from:  https://www.odditycentral.com/news/limb-extending-surgery-is-apparently-becoming-popular-among-men-wanting-to-be-taller.html).

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