From 1981 to 1985 I had eight operations. One was on my knee, torn meniscus, ended my training for a marathon. The other 7 were on my sinuses. The last one took me out for about 6 months. That 6 month span is a blank. I vaguely know that some things happened from July to December 1985, but I cannot give you any details.
I was, am, driven. I was, and sometimes still am, focused on performance. I’m better, but still a recovering workaholic. When you are lying on your back in a hospital bed for thirteen weeks in a 12 month period, performance is a little difficult to muster up. At some level it was a relief. I had good reason not to perform, I could not do my work from the hospital, though I did try.
So since my worth as an individual was connected to my performance, my worth was diminished. That was exacerbated in January of the next year when, after sharing the frustration with team on which I was a member, I was forced out of the team and eventually terminated.
For a great deal of time in ’85 I could not function. The last several days experience with this infection has brought that time to mind. I am grateful for the refresher course, not so much the curriculum or lesson plan.
Performance is not the measure of my worth. I know better. Sometimes, that knowledge slips. That metric, performance, is a ruthless, hard task master. It tells me that I have to continue to perform to be accepted. That when I am sick I am failing.
Colossians 2:9 – 10, tells me I have already been made complete. The word translated “made complete” in the Greek, πεπληρωμένοι, is perfect tense, passive voice. It is a participle and as such derives its mood from the preceding active verbs, in verse 9, dwells, and verse 10, you are; both of which are indicative mood. Indicative is a statement of fact. The Greek in verse 10 reads, “and you are in Him complete.” The perfect tense has the force of an action that happened once in time and has continuous results. Since the participle gets its mood from the indicative verbs in verse 9 and verse 10, to get the full force of what is being said by Paul, one could translate that first phrase, “and you have at a point in time in the past been made complete with the result that you are in a continual state of completeness in Him.”
So what I have to remember is that it is not my performance that counts. It was His. His life, death, resurrection, ascension, and ultimate return did more than deliver me from sin and death. It completed me. I am no longer measured by any metric other than His life. It is relatively easy to forget that.
This infection reminded me. For that I am grateful beyond words.