All Kinds Of Grey

It’s hard to not be selfish.

It’s even harder to see when you are exactly that.

SELF ABSORBED.

Me, Me, ME.

What I need.  How I feel.  What I deserve.  What I don’t deserve!  My weariness.  My issues.

Blah, Blah, Blah…

The last time I blogged it was about gratitude. I knew I wasn’t living thankfully. I knew that somehow, without ever meaning to, I had slipped into numb complacency. I understood that my lack of joy and zest for life was proportional to my lack of gratitude.

My withered perspective.

Feeling stuck.

Cause where is that gratitude switch, after all?  The magic heart-garbage-disposal button?

Oh, yeah.

There are no magic buttons or switches.

Seeing the truth about our lives is really important. It’s a step. But in a quick-fix culture it’s hard to wait it out. Hard to accept every road is always traveled step by step.  Sometimes giant leaps and sometimes little granny shuffles.

I want the prayer that breaks my chains without breaking me.
I want the scripture that meets and fills my need without surrendering my cup.

I know I’m struggling.

But I still want someone else to make me feel better. I want other people to do better, be better and then leave me alone and out of it. I don’t even want to discuss it with the Lord really because I’ve been around Jesus enough to know what’s coming.

I mean, I like making it all about me. But not so much when He does.

In attempts to lure Leighton into sitting still to eat her apple slices this morning I turned on the T.V.  I hoped she would just be still for maybe five minutes.

But the screen was filled with the faces and swollen bellies of children starving in Africa.

I sat watching and hardly believing this is happening anywhere in the world.

Hardly believing it.

You either turn the channel quickly to escape the glaring need or you sit unmoving.

Staring as your very healthy two-year-old climbs into your lap with her apples.

I watch her eating her apples. I look into her chubby little face. Eyes never so gaunt and hopeless as those on the screen.

She reaches up and touches my face, she hugs me and kisses me with a messy, snotty-nosed kiss because I’m crying.

Tears of compassion?

Sure.

But something else.

Tears of conviction.

I’ve been selfish.  I’ve mistreated people I love.  I’ve complained in my heart and out loud.  I’ve cared more about how I feel than how the people I love feel.  And that is the truth about me.

Jesus won’t give me a button or a switch.  But He’ll give me the truth.

Jesus catches me off-guard.  Breaks my heart open when I’m not expecting it and shows me the sin that has produced strife, discontent and disjointed living.

I’m so much in my flesh, which is a Biblical way of saying my emotions and selfish nature are ruling me.

Like a tyrant.

1 Peter 4:1-2 (the message)
Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like Him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.

Hey, this post is not a switch or a magic button. It’s an offering of honesty and, I pray, humility.  A step.

So hard to not be selfish once you are.  So hard to let go of expecting to get your own way.

May I whisper something to your heart? If perhaps, like me, you are struggling with the tyranny of self?

The tyrant is only as strong as our next choice.

Humility or Pride.  My Needs or Their Needs.  His Way or Mine.

I like to make it complicated.  You know, black and white with other people but all kinds of grey when it comes to me.

Imagined lack comes apart in the big, brown eyes of starving children and the big, blue eyes of  my abundance.

She reaches up for me.  She says, Song! Ance!

Leighton wants to dance in the kitchen. She likes it when I turn on the radio and we rock it out between the stove and the dishwasher.

I remember life is so much better when it’s not all about me.

And she swings and sways in my arms and giggles for all she’s worth.

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