You Are Not A High Capacity Person

Emily Hopkins - Associate Pastor Northside Community Church, Soul Survivor Board member NSW/ACT


I caught up with a mentor recently who offended me with these words:

“You’re not really a high-capacity person.”

Where I come from, “high-capacity” is the badge of honour. It’s the way we want to be perceived. We give our whole lives to its pursuit. You just don’t go around presenting as anything other than a high-achieving superstar.

God forbid you should be anything else, like, you know, average.

It’s unthinkable. It’s shameful. It’s practical blasphemy.

“I’m sorry?” I was stunned. Not really a high-capacity person? Me?

I had been telling my mentor how I had driven myself to the edge of burnout. I was exhausted and as well as losing weight I’d lost the wellspring open spaces in my soul.

After careful listening came the question, semi-rhetorical:

“It’s not so surprising, is it?”

And then the kicker.

“You’re not really a high-capacity person.

“What I mean is that you’re not an energiser bunny who can run on adrenaline, survive on four hours sleep and jump from activity to activity. It’s been the same for the past 10 years: you always crash when you overextend yourself.”

And, just like that, it happened.

Its cover was broken and I saw the vicious, slave-driving lie for what it is.

“It’s shameful to be anything other than high-capacity.

It’s not okay to be who you are.

You are not enough unless you crucify yourself on the altar of achievement.”

I had swallowed it – hook, line and sinker – and it had a death-grip on my soul, destroying my real capacity for true fruitfulness.

It took breaking my agreement with that connection-severing, creativity-draining, passion-smothering lie in order to accept that my most fruitful life is never going to come about through the driven pursuit of achievement.

Instead, it will come through the passion, connection and creativity that rise up from the wellspring open spaces in my soul. For me that means non-negotiably guarding those open spaces. Slowing down. Enjoying music, art and flowers. Praying deeply. Putting my roots down deep into the nourishing soil of friendship.

I am not a high-capacity person – at least not as defined by the flurry of activity the slave-driving lie would have us surrender our lives to.

Instead I choose surrender to a good Master, the God who knows me and created me with purpose, so that I might lead a highly fruitful life – whatever my capacity.

How about you?