This is my sunrise this morning. I just stepped outside and took this picture from my back porch. It's really quite lovely. Living up here, I often feel in awe of the beauty of God's creation. I told my husband recently that I hoped heaven had a place outside of the New Jerusalem that had mountains, and that I wanted to be there instead of the "city." As ludicrous as that likely sounded to God, I think there's a reason why mountainous regions evoke heavenly awe. At least for me, they do! I realize there can be beauty in the desert, but the desolation quickly overcomes me. No hard feelings, desert-dwellers (literal ones)!
I'm reading the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan (Bloom book club), and finished chapter 5 recently. Chapters 4 and 5 are like a 1-2 punch. In the gut. I imagine, as I've no recollection of ever being punched in the gut. These chapters have made me really look at what I consider myself to be, as far as "Christian" goes.
To make matters "worse," I've also started the Me, Myself, and Lies Bible Study by Jennifer Rothschild with my Thursday night group. I honestly didn't think I was perpetually telling myself lies. Is there a 3-punch? Perhaps it was an uppercut. Anyway, I have begun to realize that my lie-telling self has been building up my pride with things like "I deserve to have that", "You are doing enough", "They are lucky to have you, and they don't even realize it." Then I have that false humility of realizing my pride and going the opposite: "You don't even have a bachelor's degree; what do you know?", "You made some serious lapses of judgment while you were a Christian. Your testimony is marred beyond repair."
So, how do these beat-down sessions connect? Well, I have realized how far I fall short in what I give to my Creator. I see everyday how much He has given to me, if only in the Creation He so perfectly gave. He made not only this amazing and complex world that the Discovery Channel so beautifully displays (though it's seriously flawed in it's interpretations), but He made me. He made me on purpose. For a purpose.
To put myself on a pedestal and elevate my needs above my Lords, is a seriously ridiculous action. I do it all the time. I pat my proverbial "god" on the head and tell him it's enough for now, and I'll get back to him later. After all, I've done a fair share. On the flip side, it's just as preposterous to tell the One who made me of all the flaws in His work, or what He made won't work like He wants.
Am I that puffed up? I don't think that's a lie. I think that's one truth in that "thought closet" that needs to clean out some of the garbage that's been collecting. My creator gave me everything I have. He has also given me the ability to give it all back. The strange thing is, if I do, I'll receive even greater gifts, though that is not the motivation. Jesus told us to give EVERYTHING if we truly love Him. Look what He gave. I am so lucky to have Him, and I don't even realize it.
Well, sometimes I do.