Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Humble Pride

The troubling thing is that I rarely feel truly unworthy of God. I feel like God should be pretty happy to have me on his team. I feel like a 3 star recruit out of high school football. Most college football programs are built on 3 stars and all programs need these players. God should be happy to have me; after all I could have gone elsewhere. When I read Peter’s words in John 6 I am convicted to my bones. Jesus lost many of his followers after a hard and confusing teaching then he turns to his disciples and asks the question that we all must answer at some point in our lives, “What are you going to do?” (my paraphrase). This question haunts me, especially when I struggle through the bad moments of life. When my faith is weak and heart longs to wander, I want to answer, “I am going to run into the safety of my selfish desires and ambitions.” I want to scream from for the bottom of soul, “THIS IS TOO HARD!” “PLEASE MAKE THIS EASIER!” “After all you should be glad to have me.” The questions comes again, “What are you going to do?” I confess that there are times when I want to run as fast as I can from God’s will. However, Peter’s difficult and inspiring words ring in my ears, “Where would we go? Who else has the words of eternal life?”

In the end I understand that ultimately I am void of anything and that I can only be defined accurately by the one who made me. I feel like an employee bluffing his boss for a raise. Saying, “You know I have some other great offers out there.” Ultimately, I do not. I have no one but God, and this is difficult for a prideful human being to admit. In the darker moments this egotism causes me to doubt my faith or rationalize away what I know to be the most rational being. I do not always like the implications that there is a higher being. This means that ultimately I am not god. Nor would I want to be, as I also know my limitations. But if I am not god, then I must follow the one transcendent being that is.

So here I am, caught between the prodigal son and the older brother. I am arrogantly humble. I have a pastor friend who would often look at me with smile and say, “Have you seen how humble I have been? Man I am doing great.” I would always laugh in an understanding way.

I think often times I struggle with these things because I have a poor understanding of who God actually is. I know about Him, but how well do I actually know Him. Have I lived my life in a way that forces me to lean into God? Am I doing the things that actively nurture a relationship between me and the Creator? Is my sin becoming a barrier? The knowledge I have of Him must penetrate into my heart. One of my professors asked us to write a prayer of adoration to God. I am attaching mine, and I highly encourage anyone else out there to try this. This exercise ended up being a great self assessment tool and helped to teach me my proper place in the world.

Heavenly Father, Your transcendence is evident in your creation. Your power set the stars in the sky, formed the mountains in their place, set the sun above us, and caused the earth to bring forth life. Your power and love formed us with hands and by your breath you brought us to life. Your great power causes the sun to be in a state of constant explosion, the comets to hurtle through space, and remote stars to be birthed. Your great power brings the flowers to bloom, a baby to laugh, and the gentle breeze to blow on a warm summer day. Great or small your power is in all things and brings all things together. Your strength ignores nothing and your attention to detail draws me humbly to me knees.
Your omniscience is incomprehensible. You knew me in my mother’s womb, you know my heart, and you know my actions yet you love me anyway. You know what I need before I ask, yet you listen to my requests with patience. Your mind can fathom the deepest of truths yet you make these in small ways accessible to my finite mind. You endure my questions because your knowledge leads to love for me rather than impatience. Like a loving father of a wayward son your gentle hand guides me through my life.
You are everywhere. Instead of inviting you into my presence, I humbly ask if I may enter yours. Your concern for the needs of all humankind is hard to comprehend. I look with trust as I know you have the plans for each individual life that is submitted to you. You draw these plans together like a musical masterpiece to accomplish your will on this earth, and to bring forth your kingdom of love and redemption. You are the great conductor of creation’s harmonious symphony. - Amen