Wednesday, August 05, 2009
A suggested Christian worldview, boiled down to two vital points: The Fall and The Hope
Ever have those times? Those times when you look around only to find you are absolutely unimpressed with everything you see? When all is bland, blah, dull, nondescript?
Especially yourself and your home?
I have been walking around like a grumpus for a week now, casting aspersions on everything I see and touch. I am unsatisfied with the size of my home, its decor, the neighborhood in which it is situated, all the fancy features it lacks. I am unsatisfied with myself, my weight, my haircut, my skin tone and elasticity, my cheap, old and outdated clothing, my manicure, the color of my teeth and the short stumpiness of my legs and feet.
I have wasted countless hours escaping into worlds where things are the way I want them to be in stark contrast to how they actually are. I read or watch Anne of Green Gables, Harry Potter, stories by Rosamunde Pilcher and Agatha Christie. I actually imagine ways to change my life to be more like the characters in the stories.
I waste even more time on the Internet "researching" ways to make those deluded imaginings come true. I won't give more details on that. It's way too embarrassing. But I have neglected my household duties and my family in my quest for a fairy tale, my departure from reality. Dinners have been late, half-hearted, of inferior quality: why bother when I can't afford to feed my family (translation: myself)the way I want to/should be able to. Chores have been left by the wayside: why put forth the energy to try to improve something beyond improvement? That living room will still look as shabby and mismatched if it's vacuumed and dusted.
My focus has been increasingly on myself and what I feel I'm entitled to and increasingly, well, let's face it, evil. Because what I'm entertaining here is envy. Pure, simple, unadulterated, soul-sucking, God-estranging envy. I am begrudging the things that I see others have and I want. And why shouldn't I have it? I should have it! And they shouldn't! I hate them!
See? Envy. One of the Big and Deadly Seven.
Deadly sins. What a horrific term. Sin is sin and we know that the wage for all sin is death so all sin is deadly. But most sin can be categorized (by us mere mortals--to God, of course, a sin is a sin no matter how small) into seven snappy little categories. And envy is one of them. And like all sin, it leads to misery, isolation from God and, ultimately, death.
So, I've been walking around, slowing griping myself to death. And looking in all the wrong places for the cure. Looking to man-made solutions for my problem. Which only compounds the problem, adding idolatry to my evils. Nice. No wonder my household has not been a peaceful, joyful one lately!
I'm not sure what made me see the light today (I don't mean to be trite, really). It could have something to do with having the opportunity to sit down with two bright, sincere, devoted, feisty women who love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, and mind and being able to talk a few things out with them. It could be that I finally turned to where I should have turned eons ago, God's word, the only authority on truth I need. It could be the Holy Spirit knows I've had about enough of myself and has turned the light of conviction on my darkened, shriveling soul.
Whatever the reason, how sweet that I can now get on with the confession, repentance and thankfulness parts of the process. How comforting that forgiveness is freely given, a mere thought away, and that all my wickedness, though it will be all too easy for me to remember, has already been completely and thoroughly forgotten. How lovely to have a clean slate with which to repair the damage done to house and family! And how helpful to have a renewed sense of perspective, priority and purpose.
Now, where is that laundry pile?