My Experiment in Becoming Human


The Key to Fulfilling God’s Promise

I recently wrote about my goal of talking less and listening more, of focusing more on others. This, I concluded, meant altering my habit of speaking all of my thoughts aloud.

However, there’s often another, hidden cause for my overlong stories and dazzling displays of knowledge: the desire to get something. What?

Approval. Why? To assure that I won’t be rejected. I’m trying to prove that I’ve earned a place here, wherever “here” might be. In this job. In this relationship. Even this family.

At the risk of playing amateur psychologist, it didn’t help that my father used phrases like, “If you had half a brain you’d be dangerous!” As a kid, I thought, “It’s a good thing I don’t have half a brain!” Dad often threatened to give me “something to cry about” when I reacted in fear to one of his angry outbursts. Then he’d walk away in disgust and never mention it again. Leaving me to wonder whether this was it, the final, one-way ticket to rejectionland. His love felt conditional. It wasn’t, but he didn’t know how to communicate that.

It wasn’t punishment I feared. It was rejection.

So, tell me again, what are the conditions for unconditional love? Oh, yeah, there aren’t any. But I didn’t get that. And some part of my less-than-half-a-brain still doesn’t get it. So I sing for my supper. I tell a witty story or impress with my knowledge for the wrong reason—to get something, rather than give something. Acceptance. Love.

Enter God.

Two months ago, while praying about my longstanding promise from God, “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15), I suddenly realized I’d missed the key to fulfilling that promise, the basis for my “quietness and confidence”: God’s unconditional love. I was standing under an oak tree at the moment, and happened to look down at this perfect little acorn. Then God’s spirit whispered to me, “That’s your promise, Mitch. Now plant it in your heart and let it grow. I suddenly thought of another favorite verse, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). As I type this, I’m fighting back tears, recalling that the Hebrew root word for oak, “el,” means “strong.” It’s from the same root as the word for God.

My strength is rooted in Him.

That acorn lives on my dresser now, as a reminder that I’ve finally planted God’s promise in my heart. And often when I speak, I tap my chest, reminding myself that “God lives here” and He will never leave me. So I’m free to speak less and say more. And if I do choose to tell a story or share a bit of knowledge it need only be because I have something to give–I no longer need to get anything.

I already have all I need.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Memoir, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

89 Responses to My Experiment in Becoming Human

  1. Pingback: My Experiment in Becoming Human | Mitch Teemley

  2. Julanne says:

    Excellent post Mitch. Thanks for the reminder, I think I’ll
    Go out and find an acorn today!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I, too, grew up with parents whose communication skills left me feeling I was a disappointment, no matter how hard I tried. God’s unconditional love was the first I knew, and I am still growing into God’s love and then, by extension, learning to accept it from others. Thank you for sharing from your heart.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Two thoughts: 1) Thanks for sharing this and being so vulnerable. I often have felt exactly as you describe. 2) I think your dad and my dad went to the same school of dadding.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Dora says:

    Thanks for sharing your “acorn,” Mitch. 🌰❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just Jodie says:

    Fantastic post! So true. Thank you for the wonderful reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You’re so right, Mitch. In Christ we no longer need to get anything. What an awesome and reassuring truth!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. radiostudy says:

    Amen!! Deep truth planted in deeply furrowed soil is sure to bear an unimaginable and majestic result, by the amazing grace of God. Thanks for sharing so vulnerably and identifiably, Mitch.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Deeply resonates with me. Thank you for sharing. God’s love is so magical and consistent ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  10. A beautiful story here, “Grandpa”.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. gifted50 says:

    This post resonated with me so much today. As I am trying to become a better listener as well. Great aspirations. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Rocky says:

    Amen, brother

    Liked by 2 people

  13. revruss1220 says:

    I can relate to this on so many levels. Thank you for the honesty and encouragement this post offers.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. So love this post, Mitch! I have replanted a small oak tree (Oakley) and am watching another small one (Oscar) grow in our garden. I told my husband I want to see how tall they can get! Your post spoke to me today!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Wow. We really could be twins separated at birth. Discounting the fact that I am several years older than you. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  16. M.B. Henry says:

    Mitch – what a comforting read 🙂 🙂 And I LOVE how the acorn fits in 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. numrhood says:

    isaiah 55:40-43
    hebrews 11:05


  18. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

    Liked by 1 person

  19. craig says:

    Thanks for sharing, Mitch! So much of Christian maturity and sanctification involves unlearning falsehoods we didn’t realize we learned by replacing them with the Lord’s infallible truths. God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I’m chuckling here. I have had occasions when I thought I wasn’t expecting anything in return, then been disappointed when I didn’t get a “thank you.” :/

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Awesome post. Thanks Mitch. You reminded me of God’s promise for my life. My strength is rooted in him.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. That’s so well written 🙂🙌🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I’ve had similar experiences. It amazes me how God can talk to us so personally using signs and sinchronicities to only we would relate too. Indeed God is all around us!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. boromax says:

    Beautiful! I want to pour you another cup of coffee and chat some more. 🙂 You reminded me of Isaiah 61:3 – “and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
    to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
    the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
    and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
    They will be called OAKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.”

    The oil of joy, the garment of praise… YOU are a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Thanks for sharing Mitch. Such a stunning photograph and great life lesson. You struck a chord many of us resonate with. I sure do. I tried to find acceptance and unconditional love in the wrong places. Now, like you, I praise God for HIS grace because I have all I need!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. So well-said, Mitch. We all do need to be reminded of unconditional love from time to time.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Naya.E says:

    Thank you for this wonderful post. Our creator is An Awesome God ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Your honesty is refreshing. I find these discoveries are often like a similar shaped, edible; an onion. Many layers. May your journey continue in grace, and please keep talking…filtered and free!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. c.f. leach says:

    Great post my friend. In times like these we all need a reminder of God’s infinitesimal love and grace. Blessings and Peace.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. gpavants says:

    Hi Mitch,

    I think about the man who even in his older years blossoms and blooms because the Lord has planted Him besides streams of living water. Growth is a life long part of sanctification.

    Keep growing, brother.


    Liked by 3 people

  31. Bill Sweeney says:

    Thanks for sharing your heart, Mitch. The world needs followers of Christ like you who are not afraid to be vulnerable.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. beatrizzp says:

    Que maravilloso encuentro has tenido tú con tu interior… todo está en nuestro corazón… Dios habita en él y sólo tenemos que escucharlo en ese silencio con nosotros mismos.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Saheeba says:

    Happy to find your post.
    Consider this, I read it as a child and I still cherish .. God gave us a bowl of fruits, we are required to make a salad out of it.
    That’s life my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. zoeyalyward says:

    Thank you for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Page name the right thoughts


  36. It has stories full of suspense

    Liked by 1 person

  37. vipdanielle says:

    That’s beautiful ✨

    Liked by 1 person

  38. pkadams says:

    Oh the deep pain and fear of rejection! 😔 a powerful force!

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Brilliant. Thank you for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Excellent! There are no conditions for unconditional love. As a teacher of children, I’m going to remember that! I appreciate your vulnerability,Mitch. You may be talking about your own life, but I see mine. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Jane From The Block says:


    Liked by 1 person

  42. Pingback: My Experiment in Becoming Human – MarySol's Insights

  43. TayA35 says:

    I’m glad I read this all the way through because what I was expecting is not what I got at all lol. I was expecting a silly story from the perspective of a squirrel trying to become human 🤣. Instead you reminded me how important it is to be rooted in Christ

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Pingback: My Experiment in Becoming Human | Mitch Teemley

  45. Pingback: My Experiment in Becoming Human – The O Word

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