Be More Than You Can Be

'iraq' photo (c) 2007, The U.S. Army - license:

For most of my life, the slogan for the US Army was “Be All You Can Be.” I regularly saw that phrase co-opted by the Church for various youth events and what have you. The culture wars have been raging my whole life and it makes sense that the Church thought that using something associated with the military would help. We were soldiers in the Lord’s Army. We needed to be all we could be.

Being all I could be was tough. Lots of rules to follow. Lots of deciding who was in and who was out. Lots of fear to contend with. Lots of questions that needed answers. But no matter what, I could never reach that mythical “all I could be.” It was always just out of reach.

So I gave up.

I didn’t have to be anything.

And when I gave up, I found that there was so much more to be.

When I gave up following all of the rules, I found more love.

When I gave up caring who was in and who was out, I found more peace.

When I gave up fear, I found that there was more joy.

When I gave up trying to answer the questions, I found more faith.

When I gave up trying to be all I could be, I found more of God.

And He helped me be more than I could be.


This is a part of the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival hosted by Peter Pollock. You can read more submissions and add your own here.

  • Heretic Husband

    Right now I’m stuck on the “answering the questions” part.  I don’t want to give this part up, despite the fact that there are no answers.  

  • frank friedl

    A lot of convicting truth here.

    “When I gave up fear, I found that there was more joy.” I need to get to this place, but it is elusive.

  • Heidi

    AHHHHHH!  Alise, you have taken my experience and put it so eloquently.  Though I would switch the first two.  When I gave up following all the rules, I found more peace, and when I gave up caring who was in and who was out, I found more love.  I’m definitely sharing this.  :)

  • Christie

    Great post.  For a while I withdrew from the questions because it frustrated me to not have answers so I forced contrived “answers” on myself.  Now, I have developed a comfort level with the questions and doubts and see them for the beauty that they are.  

  • Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

    YES! God is always more than we need. And in Him we can be more than we could ever be on our own. Abundant blessings to you as you seek to be all you can be in Him! 

  • Marthaorlando

    “When I gave up . . .”  When one finally lets go and let’s God, that is when the miracles happen.  And we find our faith, our direction, our God.
    So exquisitely expressed here.  He is always there to help.

  • Joanne Norton

    I agree with the vast majority of your giving up and finding.  The only other bit is that for many years I always focus on the fact that we are the Lord’s Army and we have to be on alert, to hear Him, to serve Him, to be in the right place at the right time. Doesn’t mean being on my own and focusing on ME and who I’m wanting to “battle”, but, especially in our World-wide circumstances, I do feel the need and desire to be prepared.  Don’t know if this is somehow misunderstood with what you were saying.  You did a beautiful thoughtful process to share.