Greater Has No Ceiling
“Who do you think you are? You’re changing! I thought I knew you better than that. You’re trying to fit in where you don’t belong. I just don’t want you to get your feelings hurt. When it doesn’t work out, don't come crawling back because I already told you so.” One of the most dangerous places, and yet purpose-filled places, in this world is the very place others never imagined you could be. Perhaps others' expectations of you are limited to where you were born or what your parents did. Jesus was familiar with both scenarios. When told Jesus was the Messiah, one person asked “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46) As Jesus continued breaking through man-made ceilings with miracles and wisdom others inquired “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s son?” (Matthew 13: 54b-55a).
You did not shock people by the accomplishments. Their amazement was not that it was possible. Their astonishment is that the accomplishment was possible for you. You see, when everyone is on the same playing field, regardless of how unkempt, unhealthy and unsafe, reaching beyond the status quo can be unsettling for those whose loyalty is conditioned to the familiar. Consider Joseph, our childhood Sunday School favorite. It was not until Joseph revealed his dream of rising above those in his circle that his brother's homicidal ideation targeted him and eventually sold him into slavery. Why? Because Joseph had a vision that did not include a ceiling and that made them uncomfortable. After all, he was the youngest of his brothers. He should have known better and stayed in his place, right? Is your place and my place in a location derived from others' expectations of us? Are we bound to the parameters of what our family and friends consider an appropriate level of success, peace or joy?
Let’s go further. Chapter 4 of The Gospel of Mental Health: From Mental Hell to Mental Wellness, is titled “With Me Like This, Who Needs Enemies?” Perhaps the ceiling you’re battling is not one built externally, but internally. The most formidable ceiling you or I will ever break through is one of our own insecurities. Self-doubt is akin to a weapon turned against oneself that fires anxiety, self-loathing and feelings of unworthiness every time you get close to breaking through your ceiling. Rather than become discouraged that you keep bumping your head on the ceiling, rejoice for two reasons 1.) You are right there, closer than you’ve ever been. 2.) However solid the ceiling may be, whoever built it did not consider the God in you who is greater than anything in this world. 3.) You will break through and in doing so others will see a clearer path of how to do the same.