Saturday, August 3, 2013
The Arrogance of My Independence
Yes, friends, I have been throwing a bit of a tantrum. Just as any two year old might, I have been pouting telling God, "I do it myself!" And when I think about it, my tantrum has been as ridiculous as any two year old dressing herself in mismatched clothes with her shoes on the wrong feet.
This is my resounding whine: If God wanted my attention, all he needed to do was ask, or point. When I compare myself to others, I am doing pretty good. I am more God conscious than most of my friends, and I try to live my life according to Biblical principles. He didn't have to do a God smack-down to get my attention!
In my last post I wrote about wanting to have my old life back, not having to rely on God as intensely as I have in the last 2 weeks. Still consumed with my arrogance and anger, I challenged him that night during prayers...why do I really need you?!
And then I swallowed the stupidity of the words.
Something self destructive has been rising in me. I am angry, though I am not sure at what exactly. I want to cut off my hair and dye it purple. I want to get a sugar skull tat. I curse more. I hide more. I want to visit other churches, or stay home altogether. I suddenly feel trapped-in my job, by my health, by society. Everything feels upside down, mismatched and on the wrong feet. Because I want it my way. Because I want what I cannot have. Because I want what I do not have. Because I have a Burger King spirituality.
I want God to be loving and just, but merciful with me. I want God to have standards, but grace abounding for me. I know the world is broken and evil is rampant, but I want God to redeem it for me, all, and now. I want what I do and practice to be credited to my account while I pretend that I don't keep score.
As I was angrily challenging God, I had a face palm moment. He had already answered that question many times, both for me and for others. I think of Job's God smack-down moment. Mine was a vision of darkness...suffocating me...the scent of death and despair. And then Light. I know where I was before him, and I know that my life now is sweeter, not because I am amazing, but because of him. I know that who I was is gone and who I am is different and I don't want her back. Nor do I want to lose him.
I have struggled with this arrogance of independence for a long time: the not wanting to be known as less than-less capable, less intelligent, less interesting, less desirable, less in the know, less in control. What the past few weeks have shown me is that I am less than I want to be. Which I suppose is the right time, perhaps the perfect time, to rely on God...until one feels well enough to want more, until one begins to wonder, "Is God holding out on me?"
Yep, it all comes back to THAT sin, doesn't it? A serpent, an apple, the twisting of words, the twisting of hearts. Does God really love me? Did he really call me his own? Does he really care for me? Did he do this?
I believe, I want to believe, that God is loving and caring and concerned about me.
What I know is my understanding of my relationship with God is cracking while my understanding of God is being stretched...and I feel insecure.
I am not as good as I would like to believe. He is not as obvious as I would hope. Nothing is as clear as it once seemed. But the tantrums cannot protect me. My façade of independence and control doesn't hold up anymore.
I still wish he would at least point to where we are headed, though. Having a little control would be nice.