"Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I will call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I." - Psalm 61
Okay, I admit it. When I want to feel good about myself, I purposely seek to play tennis with persons of lesser tennis skills than my own. And I am not always above picking a debate with persons whom I feel cannot match the strength and logic of my arguments. And yes, I have been known to invite card players to the table whom I assume I can handily outplay.
We all know that the only way to get better at anything in life is to engage a challenge. Yet, when it comes to the contests of life that really matter, we often find ourselves clinging to the plateaus of our own abilities and accomplishments. Reveling in impressive levels of achievement is a lot safer than reaching for new ground or climbing to higher planes.
In a time of great trial, the Psalmist prays for a greater challenge, not an easy win. "Lord, lead me to the rock that is higher than I." Lord, give me an objective that will force me out of my comfort zone. Lord, reveal to me a purpose that will compel me to work on my subtle weaknesses. Lord, grant me a passion that will inspire me to stretch beyond myself.
Lord, turn my complacency into commitment, replace my cockiness with courage, and motivate me toward the greatness that is always beyond my pride. Lord, I thank you for the plateaus that you have enabled me to conquer. Now please give me a degree of restlessness with my own rewards. There is still a rock that is higher than I. Lead me to it. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.