Out from under the shadow

When my older brother got back from a three-month survival course in the wilds of Tanzania, he had some stories to tell. Some really crazy stories. Lions, ostriches (yes, they can be scary), not to mention his trip up to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. It was clear from his tales that while his journey in Africa was exciting, it also brought with it some serious personal challenges. Likewise, his adventure also brought me some of my own.

As the youngest of three brothers, I’d reached a point where I realized I was pretty much a repeating track, a song on replay. My older brothers had carved out a way, and I was along for the ride, cruising through sports, school, and camp on the reputation already made for me by the name “O’Hagan.” I became used to hearing “Little O’Hagan,” “Mini O’Hagan,” and “Sean or Brendan’s little brother,” and at first, I didn’t mind. It made things easy. Having watched my brothers go through middle school and high school, when I got to the same places, I had confidence, because I felt as if I already knew exactly what I was doing. In a small way, it almost felt as if I’d done it all before.

But that changed. I grew up a bit and realized I didn’t want to feel like a repetition. And all of sudden, instead of feeling that my older brothers were there to pave the way for me, I began feeling that they were creating a rather large shadow that I couldn’t get out from under. I wrestled with a growing feeling of being lost, as well as feeling confused as to what I should even be doing. It was around this time that my older brother left for Africa, and that shadow I felt I was trying to escape only grew larger. As my brother’s achievements grew, my confidence steadily declined.

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Bible Lens
Bible Lens—May 16–22, 2016
May 16, 2016

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