He doesn't do very much all day, really. He sleeps a lot, and occasionally he'll have a little wander round his cage, stuff his pouches with whatever he can find and go back to bed. He might come out for a little wander round the sofa or in his ball for a while. He's not a lot of use though, frankly, he doesn't do anything much.
Except he does. He brings joy to the family. Even Adventure Bloke and I are rather smitten by this tiny rodent. The look of joy on the Adventurous Pair's faces when we brought him home was...well, Priceless. They get so much out of him - cuddling him, feeding him, cleaning him out (well, they wouldn't say they get a lot out of that particular aspect of Bilbo, but let's face it, it's all about Responsibility and Learning to care for another, and that cannot be a Bad Thing.) They love him, and wouldn't be without him.
In my darker moments I feel a bit like Bilbo as described in the first paragraph. Not a whole load of use to anyone or anything, and not doing an awful lot. What is the point of me? It's daft, but these ponderings often come more to the surface when I'm feeling a little better. It's like there's this script going on, that says 'you're doing OK, now Justify Your Existence', and I start endless guilt trips about not being productive enough and not using my education, and not even using the time I have particularly wisely (Facebook anyone?)
When I'm in the darker times of illness, I don't think like this. I don't have the energy, let alone any thought of having to justify myself. It often feels like God carries me through these times, with a level of contentment and peace that is surprising given the circumstance. It's like I know it's OK. This is how I am and this is where I am, and I don't have to do. I don't have to even be someone different, I just have to be me. And in that, God sees me a little like my children see Bilbo. He rejoices over me and wouldn't be without me. Does there need to be a point in me to God?
So why can I not carry this through to those times I feel stronger? I've had a few good weeks, I've been camping, I've been out and about and attended events and enjoyed myself. I've still tired and had to pace things, and run out of spoons on occasion, but there's been a definite shift towards stronger times. This is good! This is what I crave for in those hard times. I long for life with this kind of normality.
And then I go and beat myself up that I should be more than who I am. I'm stronger, so what am I to show for it? Why can't I simply continue in what God has provided and given for me to be?
You do not need to justify yourself, dear friends. You do not need to have a USP, or even a P at all. You are so much more than that. I can't say it enough - God loves you, unconditionally and wildly, extravagantly and often unrequietedly. (is that a word?) God doesn't love you because you have a point, because you have achieved this and that, because you run from one thing to another and are busy, even if it is all in God's name. God loves you because he made you. The Point Being there does not need to be one. Right? <shakes self>
So lets stop beating ourselves up, and get the line between acceptance and complacency right. I do not want to languish and revel in sickness or define myself by it, and neither do I want to make it the reason I don't push myself or challenge myself. But I do want to keep reminding myself that I need not justify myself.
May you have the confidence to be who you are created to be, to be your beautiful and meaningful self, and yet to reach out and keep straining toward the goal.