Not that I didn’t care
It’s that I didn’t know
It’s not what I didn’t feel,
It’s what I didn’t show.
-Misery, Maroon 5
There’s a difference between not caring and not letting it negatively affect you. For so long I have told myself and the ones around me. “I don’t care.” When I didn’t get what I wanted. When I didn’t get what I worked so hard for.
Grabbing my sneakers and heading to my workout this morning, I finally came to the realization that I did care. I do care. I do care that despite the hours, the days, the months that I spent praying, sweating, crying and working towards something, I still didn’t get what I wanted.
A slight difference in perspective changes everything.
I do care. Failures and missteps mean just as much as successes to me. I won’t let missteps negatively affect me though. I will not let my failings change my mindset from I can, to the lethal contraction.
I spent an entire year getting fit enough, quick enough, strong enough, and wise enough to be better than my freshmen year performance. Coach blew the whistle, my feet sped through the finely cut grass with ease, landing on the opposite line with more than enough time. The sound echoed across the field once more and my cleats cleanly guided the ball into the corner of the white crisscross pattern. That same cleat, ripped apart to release the pressure from my now dislocated ankle, ripped open to release my biggest fear. Failure. No tears dropped. I didn’t care. I didn’t mind. It was just an injury.
I guess it took a year and half to realize that I did care. I had trained myself to avoid experiencing the extent of the pain. But, the numbing mechanism, no longer worked. I was forced to experience the reality that my ankle was no longer what it was, that it had taken on a new form. That I had taken on a new form.
The words rehab, recovery fell from the physician’s lips. So I listened and did just that. I rehabilitated. I recovered. I worked hard to return to the skill and mindset that stood right before I fell. For the prefix of rehab and recovery demand that I do it again. So I revisited the same pitch pushing myself to return to where I used to be.
But, sometimes He breaks us, He stops us, to give us a clean slate, to guide us in a new direction. But, I had not seen it as such, I saw it as challenge not a blessing.
It was in the moment that I began to care, when I allowed myself to feel the extent of the injury and the pain, that I began to realize His desire and His direction.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you…I am the vine; you are the branches… (John 15:1-27)
I have finally come to see this experience as a pruning, a trimming by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth (Pruning, 2015). The confidence that had died and the fear that had overgrown needed to be cut. I was not being cut because I wasn’t good enough, but because I was more than good enough. I was worth tending, for my fruit was worth bearing. It is not weakness to care, nor it is weak to feel pain. Rather to admit and accept the importance of my failings and disappointments is to remove the barrier between me and God so that I can be improved.
Maroon 5 labeled their song well, for to live absent of caring is “Misery”, but to care and to live with Christ is relief.
Soanes, Catherine, and Angus Stevenson. “Pruning.” Oxford Dictionary of English. 2003. Print.