(Part 2 of lessons from 4-H lambs)
4-H meetings and fair were absolute highlights of my summers growing up. Actually, they still are today! My first fair with those cute sheep that I had chosen was no exception. When we got to fair months later, I was confident that my lambs were great winners because I had worked hard and invested time. Showing them was definitely a learning experience. Although very nervous, I did my job pretty well for a first-time showman being judged for my skills. Later in the day, were the market lamb classes. The judge would evaluate the quality of my lambs. In a class of 7 lambs, I placed last. When I left the ring, I cried. My tears were not shed over the fact I had gotten last. I cried because the judge had said my lamb wasn’t of good enough form and structure to place any higher in the class. He had found my lambs lacking the quality desired. They were unsatisfactory, deficient.
I have found myself stuck in that showring hearing those words on repeat through the years. Only as I grew into a teen and young adult those words of lacking and insufficiency were directly toward me. Words that will still cause the same devastated feelings. Do you relate? Do you ever feel like you don’t measure up and are being placed below the others who seem to be better? Maybe this criticism is internal thought processes or perhaps coming from an outside source(s). We live in a critical world that can become one giant competition. Young ladies may over and over feel judged and told that they don’t measure up to the standard. A standard set by Hollywood, social media, the academic world, the cooperate world, and their own formed ideals. Many young ladies grow up into women who believe they are inadequate, like they are blemished and fall short.
I am a tryer and a doer. Just like with my 4H lambs, I tend to go all in and work as hard as I can at whatever the challenge or task. To be found wanting is quite damaging when you know you have done your absolute best and that is not good enough. Often, we see the solution to these feelings of inadequacy leading to coping mechanisms that are even more harmful. Eating disorders, seeking attention from others, (mainly boys or men), alcohol and drugs, addictions to receiving approval on social media, perfectionism, materialism are all vices and eventually devastating problems that stem from trying to control or numb these perceived failures. Are there other answers to these feelings of inadequacy? Is there another path that would not cause more devastation that typical coping styles lead to?
Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” This tells us our feeling is true. We are coming up short of God’s glory. Many people don’t like to be told that they sin. I get that, especially when it seems we have a measuring stick put up to us. That measuring stick seems to always say you fall short of good enough. Well, think of sin as the things in your life that cause heartache, confusion, destroy relationships, cause you guilt, and bring on negative consequences. This verse is just trying to get us to realize that the reason we feel inadequate in this world is because we literally, no matter how hard we try cannot be good enough. We weren’t meant to live this life feeling judged like a sheep show and finding ourselves lacking. God intended us to live in His glory and fulfill His purpose for our lives in a loving relationship with Him.
2 Corinthians 5:17-19 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;” We are literally a new creature in Christ. We can become a person that does not have to live under the judgement of the world and the weight of our inadequacies.
I certainly have fond memories of my lambs. I truly enjoyed raising and training and caring for them. I actually loved the competition and was especially draw toward the showmanship classes. A class in which the judge evaluates the handler on their showing abilities. As far as the market classes go, I learned that just like in this world it is not always the time, passion and hard work put into something that earns recognition and ribbons. Even in sheep shows it is often times those who spend the most money and have the fancies stock that end up the champions.
The highest reward of man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it- John Ruskin
If you are on that destructive path whether in thought pattern or coping mechanism, know that you can seek God and He will be the answer to your feelings of inadequacy. Choosing God can free you from the measuring stick of others, and society, as well as the measuring stick you use on yourself. Through a relationship with Jesus, you too can be made new. Because I now choose to value who my Creator God made me to be, the old stinking thinking of constant comparison and internal criticisms are passed away. I don’t hear the voice of that sheep judge any longer. I have become someone who lives in God’s Glory, riches and blessings. I have become a child of God.
I am looking forward to publishing part 3 in the future.
2 thoughts on “Leslie Had a Little Lamb”
This was an encouragement to me! Thank you for writing this!
Thank you for sharing Leslie!! Such Truth in the words you have written and from The Word. Stand strong in the new creation He has created in You! Blessings!