I tend to write very early, early in the morning. It is hot outside, and so 4:30 am feels really good, with the lights low, the fan on and that wee hour cool outside. I am reading a book on humility, given to my husband by newly released ex-prisoner, which says alot I suppose. My pride is never far from me, and I've always believed, as the book made mention, that pride is the source of all evil, sin and misery in the world, the kind that says I don't need God and I don't need people. All I know is, it is the thing that runs through the fabric of my being which keeps me from truly being the person I need to be, an imitator of Christ. So many of the things that I struggle with come from this tendency in my soul to say this life belongs to me and I can do what I want. The problem with that is, the more insistent I am and the harder I hang on, the less this life truly does belong to me. I see that I cannot control it.
If I could only grasp this. Everything I see and hear in this world tells me I deserve a break today, I'm worth it, it's about me, total comfort and security is my right as a human...in what generation past was this ever true? We suffer more with discontent than any previous I believe. Somewhere in the back of my mind I hear a different voice...man does not live by bread alone, the love of money is the root all evil, where your treasure is there will your heart be, what does it profit a person to gain the whole world and lose their own soul, unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies it remains alone, He came into this world and His own received Him not...that sure doesn't jive with our modern philosphy of get all you can while you're here and screw everyone else.
I was lying awake this morning and am writing now because I was afraid to read an e-mail that I thought might chastise me for something I'm doing, and have tried to control because I think I know best. This often happens. I failed to honor the authority under which I serve and undercut it. I apologized but still did not resist the urge to use my language skills and intelligence to include a subtle dig at what I felt was poor leadership. As one tends to find out the longer she lives, intelligence, skills, resources, everything we humans strive after, tend to be really worthless without a humble heart to use and guide them. We all know nuclear power can be used to light the world or blow it up. The more power and strength a human being possesses, the more they need to have it directed by a force greater than themselves.
Then comes heartbreak and I realize, I'm not in control here after all. People die, they leave our lives, children grow up, tragedy stalks continually, goodbye never stops being the dirtiest word in my vocabulary, and I remember, oh God, how I need You to help me. I'm a poor traveller in this world, and without Him to guide me I just never find peace. I'm trying hard to understand Jesus' gentle instruction in the Gospel of Matthew, "Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul..." Rest. The thing I can never seem to find. I think it takes submitting to the yoke first, and that means I don't plow the field alone.
p.s. The e-mail I was so worried about and felt I didn't deserve, turned out to be totally positive, loving and full of encouragement, something I truly DIDN'T deserve.