The Sum is Greater than the Parts

**Sorry for the formatting issues, not sure why it’s doing this and can’t make it go away!!**

No doubt you have heard this cliché more than once in your life. Do you think it is true? Is there any truth to the whole collection of pieces being greater or more substantive than the individual pieces?

Think about the pieces in a cup of coffee. Milk or creamer is good by itself, especially if preceded by cookies. Sugar or another sweetener is also good to munch on, just ask any horse you know. Or what about white chocolate? If you ask me, the greatest of the chocolates. And then there’s the coffee, superb on its own. Steam the milk, add the white chocolate, press the

coffee and a white mocha espresso drink is fabulous. Soin this case the sum of

those parts are greater than the individual parts.

What about a person’s life? Can all the parts, the nuances, the mistakes, the victories, the everything that makes someone who they are be greater when compiled together than if each part was taken to stand alone? I certainly hope so. I tend to think a lot. Too much. I think too much about choices, decisions I’ve made and whether they were the right ones or not. I’m daily plagued with the fear that I’m totally screwing up what my life is supposed to be. If it were just me, I could muddle through that. However, I have a wife and 3 kids and a dog… The stakes are a little higher.

What causes this constant second guessing,  this fear, this worry that I don’t have it all figured out and I’m just wandering aimlessly

through my life? If I knewthe concrete answer to that I could probably stop it.

Maybe I do know… At its core, it’s probably a fear of failing. But then the question

is why do I fear failing so much that it practically controls every move I make? That’s the $1 million question.

When I look back on the scope of my life, I see very little in the way of forward progress or movement. I see a lot of lateral shifting. I see a lot of fear-motivated decisions. I see mistakes and failures. I see that if I look at each piece of my life, a dismal picture of who I am is painted. I haven’t accomplished much of note in my life. In many ways, I truly have failed in life.

If I look at my life with blurred eyes, or in my peripheral, focusing more on God and the work he has accomplished in me the greater-ness of my life begins to take shape. My life isn’t about me. It’s about God. It isn’t about what I have done, it’s about what God has done. When I look at the total collection of experiences, mistakes, lessons learned,

growth that has occurred, the few good things I’ve done, that’s when the sum of who I

am begins to take shape and prove itself to be worth more than each part on its own.

I have I failed? Yes. Will I fail again? Yes. Have I been afraid? More than you  can know. Will I continue to make fear-motivated choices? Probably.

But maybe just maybe, I can learn to lean on the God who has brought me this far, who has always made the most of me in each situation, who has loved me as

his child and heir even when I haven’t lived up to it.

I am valuable, because God says I am… And so are you.

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