If you've ever had a conversation with me for more than about 0.8 seconds, you'll know how much I love personality tests. The Meyers-Briggs and Eneangram put into words what goes on in the cognitive functions of each person, in a way that without self-awareness, one could not verbalize. However, I am also self-aware enough to know how annoying I am when talking about such matters. Even my psychology major friends roll their eyes at me, the obsessive type 3 ENFP.
The other day, I was listening to a podcast about my Enneagram type. Three's are goal-oriented, big-picture doers who have a tendency to measure themselves by their success. They are emotional people, but do not naturally process their own emotions very well, as they find them inefficient. Yet, they are relational and easy going --when its not work-related. This particular podcast was an interview with a pastor who is, like myself, a type 3.
As I was listening to this podcast, I was addressing and stamping support letters for my upcoming missions endeavors, which you can read about here. The podcaster mentioned how she sees Three's that never feel achieved, because they do not tend to celebrate the goals they have accomplished, but instead move on straight to the next goal. The pastor being interviewed completely agreed, saying that he has fallen prey to this hopeless perspective. It's a loss of sight of present goodness in the striving towards the future. As I was surrounded by names and addresses of people who believed in me and God's calling on my life, I heart skipped a beat.
Look at the present goodness.ˆ
I am so focused on the future, on reaching this goal, or waiting for that to come through, believing everything will be perfect "if...". Proof to this is me here, with my dreams within reach and still striving.
Recently, I've been listening through the Psalms on my Bible app before bed. Hearing how mighty my Lord is as I drift off to sleep is maybe the most comforting I've ever done, 10/10 would recommend. I really admire how the Psalmists find rest in the Lord. I'm sure you've heard Psalm 46:10 quoted before, but I really like the NASV,
"Cease striving and know that I Am God,
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth"
Ceasing to strive and being still is not something I do well. I chase after my dreams with determination, but rarely celebrate the chase.
I want to clarify, I do not plan on ceasing my preparation, my academics, or my fundraising. All of these things are necessary, and I enjoy going after the goals they provide. The issue, however, is a self-centered perspective that leaves God out of the process; it is lacking gratitude in the everyday and idolizing the future. Without balancing the observation of the present goodness and looking at the projection of the future I create, I can lose hope in the now.
Growing up, my favorite song from the hymnal was "Step by Step." I love the chorus of this song and the heart of its message:
Step by step You'll lead me,
and I will follow You all of my days.
Step by step, not mountaintop to mountaintop, the Lord will lead me. And in return, I will follow, not only in the days of excitement, or days that I decide I can't control something, but all of my days.
As the whimsical, big-picture-dreamer ENFP and a goal-minded, optimistic Type 3 I was created to be, let me submit every day, every leap of the process to the Creator and Sustainer Himself. In this season of preparation, of goal-seeking, of present goodness, let me celebrate the chase, alongside my Lord.