Wednesday, February 17, 2016

"Every stone I laid for You...as if you had asked me to. A monument to holy things, empty talk and circling. Isn't that what we're supposed to do?" --Nichole Nordeman

I finished my apology and felt a little gutted that I'd let something slip that was obviously causing such a rift.  Then she said a word that finished the entire process:  arrogant.  The whole exchange, while honest, still stings a bit because I thought I'd been successfully avoiding the very thing I'd been becoming.

Why is it arrogance seems easier than humility?

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The heart of arrogance is me.  I'm not saying I'm the sole purveyor of the concept, just that any focus that consistently comes back to self or self gain is, by definition, arrogance.  And for the sake of being honest, it's my Achilles.

While I can't remember a ton of significant achievements from my childhood, I can remember the fact that I talked well from a young age and that particular skill followed me through high school.  I qualified for state in speech my freshman year and my senior year.  Those achievements led to a job offer at a local radio station, and while it wasn't particularly prestigious, it was still a pretty cool accomplishment.  In addition to those things, my first college scholarship was based on my ability to talk to other people and sell them on the finer parts of a local college education.

My skill.
My ability.
My achievements.

I kept looking for those things to define something about me that felt undefined.  I needed to be good at something--recognizably good.  It became this endless competition of sorts between me and whoever was "better" at whatever we were doing.

I loved character acting and was cast in some pretty big roles in college productions.  But the time I wasn't?  It was a gut punch.  It seemed like a personal slight and how dare you take this from me when this is who I am and what I do.

It isn't enough for me to be a good teacher.  I have this cavernous hole that requires copious amounts of acknowledgement that I am the best teacher--creative and capable.

I don't need my name listed on the marquee, but I don't want to be unacknowledged.  There's this unspoken desire to be heard and valued for my abilities and my accomplishments.

For me.
Me.
Me.

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Lent is a season of penitence--of quiet reflection and refocus.  As I'm working my way through these scriptures and really seeing Jesus again, I'm asking Him to see me.  To help me realign my goals until they point to Him--or even until my biggest and only desire is Christ.  Not Christ in me.  Not Christ before me, behind me or beside me.  Just Christ. 

To, once again, show me what it looks like to remove myself from the equation so I can stop getting in the way.

I thought I'd done that.  But the ruts here are deep and my wheels gravitate toward building for Him without bothering to include Him at all.
 

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