by Gary Dyksterhouse
Not too long ago I was sent a link by Stephen Pillow to take a personality test. He and his wife Kim had taken it recently, and they wanted to send it out to some of their friends. I rarely participate in these sorts of actions, but I had 5 free minutes of time, and decided to indulge. The last time I can remember taking one of these tests it was the Myers-Briggs in college and it told me I should choose a career as a funeral home director. So, I guess my personality is best suited for the non-living.
After completing the test, I started reading through the description of the kind of person I am. At first, I was feeling pretty good. I received the designation of an Architect. I am apparently a very rare breed of person, as only 2% of the human population are Architects. The test givers describe Architects as people with relentless intellectualism and chess like maneuvering. We are imaginative, yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious, but do not squander our energy.
So about at this point I am patting myself on my back, imagining myself at the top of the food chain, making moves and accomplishing preset goals. The problem sets in later when it starts transitioning to weaknesses. Architects are arrogant (OUCH!), judgmental (DOUBLE OUCH!), overly analytical (I can absorb that one), loathe highly structured environments (Not if I create the environment!), and a number of other pretty scathing criticisms.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the next section I read was where it lists other famous architects. They have cute emojis to show the faces of the famous people, and it didn’t start off too terrible: Christopher Nolan (Screenwriter), Colin Powell, Elon Musk, Gandalf the Grey (Lord of the Rings Books), and Arnold Swarzenegger (I think that is mainly a physique similarity) amongst a few others. Then my fellow architects trend the wrong direction: Vladimir Putin (rigging elections and murdering my competition!), Friedrich Nietzsche (There is no good and evil, no God, only personal perspective….yikes!), Walter White (from Breaking Bad: Meth empires are my personal favorite), Tywin Lannister (from Game of Thrones: A tiny man with a tiny moral compass who murders his way through life), and Professor Moriarty (from Sherlock Holmes: the antagonist and evil twin to Sherlock’s righteous endeavors to preserve life and maintain order).
I realized a few things as I went through my personality test and results. The test was pretty accurate. I am a planner, a 5-year vision kind of person. I like strategy board games, and I like maneuvering in my endeavors well in advance of the actual occurrences. I also struggle mightily with pride. In the line between self confidence and arrogance I often perform a cannonball on my way over the line and have to ask for forgiveness. I also realized that, while Walter White and I are both bald, have reddish white facial hair, and sometimes feel as though we were meant for something more than daily drudgery, we have one key difference. I have Jesus. When my soul crosses those lines, I have the Holy Spirit to back me up and go seek reconciliation.
I read Acts 7 this morning and in it, Paul writes about the testimony of the first Deacon, Stephen. In the chapter, Stephen gives a complete account of the Gospel of Jesus Christ starting with Abraham. Stephen is being questioned by the spiritual leaders (and about to be stoned to death), and he gives the best chronological connection of the Old Testament and the New Testament that exists in the Bible (in my opinion). I realized as I read that chapter that I am no Architect. There is only one Architect, and He set his plan in motion at the beginning of time. He created mankind. He knew that our doom was sure. He created a way through his Son Jesus to be reconciled to his beloved creation and to display his glory. He planned the rise and fall of leader after leader until the one leader who could never fail would arrive on earth. God is the perfect planner, the loving hand that guides his people.
When my best laid plans fail, I can rest in a God who never fails. When the world sees a dead and failed man on the cross, God Almighty sees the Savior of the world who came to redeem a flawed and sinful architect like me.