OK, so God has a sense of humor.
And He once again showed me how he is the Master of Timing.
Last week I posted about a little Pity Party that I had. The post appeared on Wednesday. Well, early Wednesday morning, "The Hub" and I left to go out of town for a few days. I only had the chance to check the computer to see if the post had published, before I had to hop in the car and get going – (After the Blogger fiasco of earlier this year, I'm a little wary about *assuming* that posts get posted…just sayin').
All was well…except that I was feeling quite unsettled about the honest *baring of my soul.*
So, as mile after mile passed under the tires of our car, I was fretting…
And I was praying, too.
"Oh Lord, I hope people won't be offended by this post. Was I too honest? Will they think that I was being self-indulgent? Will people wonder why I didn't title it The Sharon Show??"
Just then I looked out the window.
And right at that moment we were passing a semi – you know, one of those huge trucks that scare you to death when you have to drive by them (or is that just me?). I digress – I looked over at the truck and glanced at the trucking company name…
Yup, that was the actual name.
And for a second I stopped mid-prayer. Was this a sign of conviction from God? Well, yes and no. At first, I had to laugh. It was just too ironic, too timely, not to have been humorous. Lord, You are a comedian!
But then I got to thinking.
What does pride really look like?
I think it's pretty easy to recognize it in its most obvious costume. There are plenty of people in the entertainment business that make a living out of being self-indulgent. Their faces are plastered all over magazines at the check-out lines at drugstores and supermarkets.
Oh, look at me – aren't you as wildly interested in every little tidbit of my life as I am?
What about television? How many versions of the same reality show can we watch? People talking about themselves, worrying about the most petty things, living the most extravagant lifestyles.
Oh, look at me – doesn't it concern you like it does me when I'm going to get my next Botox treatment?
And don't get me started on politics. It truly doesn't matter what party affiliation you belong to. I'm not sure that we can trust anyone. Just seems to me that all we're offered anymore is an endless parade of big, puffed up talking heads – none of whom speak the truth – because their egos get in the way.
Oh, look at me – don't you think I can solve the problems of the world like I think I can?
So, pride – yeah, it's fairly recognizable…
But what is pride in its more subtle forms? What does pride look like when it dresses incognito?
Well, at least sometimes, it looks like us (like me, to tell the truth).
Pride is not just arrogance.
Sometimes it is a need for attention, approval, and accolades.
Last year, on Good Friday, we were asked during the service at our church to write down on cards something that we wanted God to *crucify* in us. (I wrote down three, by the way.) Then we went to wooden crosses set up in the building, and we literally nailed our cards (and what they represented) to the cross.
One of the things that I chose was my need for approval.
That was last year.
It occurs to me that perhaps it would have been more truthful if I had used a thumbtack – because I have removed that particular issue from the cross so many times. Nailed (thumbtacked?) it back on the cross, taken it down and played around with it again, and then tried to nail it to the cross again…
You know why it's been so hard to let go of it?
Well, I'll tell you at least one reason. It's because God took me seriously.
And when you tell God you want to *crucify* something, you'd better be ready for how He's going to do it. It's probably not going to come in a neatly tied up package. Like this *approval* thing – did I just suddenly have this peaceful influx of humility into my heart?
What happened was that God started to carve away the pride.
God tells us, in no uncertain terms, that we should have no other gods before Him. I take that to heart.
But, God began to show me that although I don't worship idols – there was a teeny, tiny Sharon *doll* on the shelf of my heart that I paid an awful lot of attention to…
And so, He got to work.
He's put me through refining fire, chiseled and molded, pulled and stretched, cut and scraped and scoured.
Oh Lord, aren't you done yet?
Evidently not – because I still have a little box of thumbtacks in my pocket…
This is the exquisite way that God works in us. He doesn't put band-aids on the sin-diseased spots – He uses alcohol to purify, He scrubs the infection clean – in other words, He digs around in the most painful areas so they can be healed.
He won't leave us alone.
He loves us too much.
Oh Lord, save me from myself – save me from my SELF.
(SIDENOTE: Sharon's Acrostic Dictionary defines pride this way:
P roudly and
I nsisting on
Doesn't that sound perfectly awful?)
Where is God digging around in your life?
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"