Therefore, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

I wrote a song today called THE ONE THING. It’s about the one thing I just can’t work through, get over, embrace, come to grips with, interpret, or otherwise squash or explain away. It’s the one thing at the root of a few of my behaviors that makes me feel, as St. Paul says “weak”. It’s the one thing that haunts me, like the ghost in the hall, that I know I will meet and greet when I return from the Camino.

For me, it’s the feeling that no matter what I do, I’m not doing good enough; for family, for supporters, for friends, for God.

Not to lasso everyone reading this into my world view, but I don’t know a single person who doesn’t have a one thing, one weakness, that is sometimes dormant, and sometimes plagues their day. Call it the human condition, call it a weakness we can choose to curse or be grateful for, or call it a quest for those still slaying their dragon.

But let me take a crack at replacing the word weak with the word available. In my weakness, my vulnerability, I am often so struck by what I lack that I’m stripped (or  I strip myself) of pride, glory, and self-righteousness. In that moment, I feel available to the Spirit of Love, the Spirit of what is needful, the Spirit of God. It’s then that good things happen; it’s the state I was in when I wrote Behold, Come To Me, and You Cannot Go Below My Resting Arms, to name a few.

So just as Paul comes to a new knowledge claiming contentment with his weaknesses, I am, today, for a moment, content. Content to let the thorn remain, since it brings me to availability. Content with the word weak, which is to suggest that I wrested with the angel through the night, and the angel was stronger…and I’m just worn out. Content with revealing a secret door into my heart that the very vulnerability of this day has opened. I accept that in weakness and availability, I find strength.

Leave a Comment

  • Sharon Manning October 20, 2016, 7:29 pm

    David, I’m reading your blog to Keith as we drive to College Station. Keith is speaking at the May’s business school tomorrow. Your stories are making the drive pass quickly. Thank you for sharing many personal thoughts and amazing stories as you walk. As we discuss your journey we feel very shallow because we don’t think about all the things you do, but Keith says that reduces our stress. …..
    I guess that’s what makes you such a talented writer. Keith hopes that along the way you stop and enjoy a glass of wine or 2 for him and enjoy the moment. We will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers and know that this journey will give you insight to continue your writing and touching those that listen to your words and music.
    By the way you may also inspire us to take a short version of the walk. But we want to do it together not alone and hit a few nice hotels after the walk.
    PS. If you can say a prayer for the Aggies for a win against Alabama this Saturday Keith would appreciate it!


  • Irma October 21, 2016, 4:01 pm

    Thanks for your beautiful and meaningful words that are a sharing of your heart and soul and which will become for me a source of strength and courage.
    I had been so busy I hadn’t had a chance to sign up which I just managed to do today. I read your blog today but came back to this one because it’s my daughter’s birth date and what a powerful message.
    I have been praying for you since you began your journey that God would be with you every step of the way and that your journey would fill your heart’s needs.
    I ask that you carry me in prayer as well as I write this from a hospital bed which I have been confined to since last Tuesday. Sometimes God needs me to “Be Still”. and although catching pneumonia was more than I expected… I am forced to rest. I will continue to follow you as you continue your amazing life”s journey which I know is God’s will for you!
    Love and blessings,