Ugly Me

I've been spending quite a bit of my quite/reflection time lately pondering my sin nature. Why, as Paul states, I often find myself doing those things I don't want to do and unable to do those things I want to do. How is it that the ugly side of me seems to always come out naturally despite some of my best efforts otherwise?

I have lots of ugly parts, but it may be that the ugliest part of me is my self-absorption. I like being me. In fact I LOVE being me, and the rest of the world should like me as much as I do and behave accordingly! I'm painfully aware of my situation and have been taking strides to allow God to do some heart surgery.

While some people may write off 'little sins' or small incidents as nothing to worry about, I somehow get bothered by those the most. I have pretty much figured out how not to let my self- absorption manifest in big ways. But the little ways are just as ugly and the remind me that my sin nature isn't going away any time soon.

A dumb example that reminded me of this just this morning:
The fires in our area of been pretty intense for the past couple of days. Several of our friends have been evacuated, our church has been set up as a fire-relief station and as a staging area for fire fighters. Last night when I turned onto my street the flames were very visible in the not-too-distance. Ashes were falling from the sky and my kids were anxious.

I spent about 30 minutes this morning watching the news and praying for the whole situation.
Then I headed out to my favorite 'hole in the wall' coffee shop to do some writing and lesson prep. When I walked to the door, I was greeted by a little note saying that due to the fires and smoke the coffee shop would be closed for a few days. I WAS TICKED! Why in the heck would a little smoke cause them to close? Don't they know how badly I wanted to tuck away and work? Now I have to be inconvenienced by heading to Starbucks who, by the way, would never think of closing it's doors! Ugly me. Stupid me. Selfish me.

It's the little things, our first responses to simple situations that often reveal the ugliest parts of our self.


Anonymous said...

Very intriguing. It is quite often that I find people all around me, praising me for working with the youth, or having a great lesson, etc., but through my smile and thanks, I most often am thinking, "Oh they just don't know all of it, because if they do then they would not be saying that right now."

It is the little things that God continues to press on me to work harder on, but yet, I often find that I am too apathetic for it.

I enjoy following your work and seeing all the things that God does through you and your team. I encourage you to continue to press on and lean on God fully in every circumstance. Often times as youth directors, we don't hear that enough. Peace and love


James said...

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say "but it's really okay to feel that way". Why?

Well, there's a great verse in the Bible where Paul says "There was given to me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it from me. But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness'". 2 Cor. 12:7-9.

My take on this is that whatever that thorn in Paul's flesh was - it might have been a physical problem like bad eyesight or a relationship that wasn't getting healed or, like you, a tendency to beat up on himself over his weaknesses - that point is that it was something that Paul struggled with, but God said 'it's okay'.

What was the term he used later on to describe humanity in the face of God?..."we are jars of clay". That's how God made us and so we shouldn't be ashamed of our weaknesses.

Just my take on it all.