This morning at church, before corporate prayer time (it's a small church, so it broke up into small groups) we were prompted to pray for corporate humility on behalf of that local congregation, the community, the Church (as in the universal church), and the nation. As we broke up into small groups, I was reminded of something I wrote 17 years ago when I was in college. It was an essay entitled "God is God and I am Not". (By the way, Steven Curtis Chapman apparently has a song by the same title. I came up with it first. Of course, I probably got the idea from someone else, so...)
I'd dig up the old essay, except that I am still in the process of unpacking, so I'm not sure where it is. I'm also not sure it was all that good, so we'll just try to wing it here in this blog post and see what comes.
The gist of the essay is that we humans are not God although we try to fool ourselves into thinking we are. We try to fool ourselves into thinking we know what's best for us. We try to fool ourselves into thinking "I am the most important person here." We may not be that explicit in words, but our actions too often portray our deepest inner feelings.
As a newly-wed, I've been thinking a lot about this type of thing. Before the wedding, I was reading a book by Mike Mason called The Mystery of Marriage: Meditations on the Miracle. As a 37-year-old getting married for the first time, I could resonate a lot with Mason's perspective. If I'm remembering correctly, he used to be a monk. He spoke about how marriage really opened his eyes to just how selfish he is; how the selfishness penetrated areas he never even thought about. This perspective really opened his eyes to Paul's message about understanding the sacrifice Christ made for the Church. Marriage is a true giving up of yourself. It is placing the needs of your spouse above your own wants.
In fact, as I am writing this, I keep getting interrupted by texts from my wife, who is out of town visiting her family. This is after finishing a 45 minute phone call from my mother where she didn't really want to talk about anything. (I am NOT a phone person, so long phone conversations are painful for me.) I wanted to start writing this post at 9pm and it's now 10:45pm. My human nature wants to scream at people for them to stop interrupting me. After all, I'm trying to serve God through this blog post here!
Oh, wait. God wants me to serve my wife and my mother. It's not like I couldn't set this aside and finish it tomorrow. It's my pride getting in the way of performing the service God placed in this stage of my life. God knows how I need to serve Him better than I do. God is God and I am not. I just need to keep reminding myself of that.