I discovered something while at the retreat. Something unpleasant and uncomfortable; the kind of discovery that makes you wish you hadn’t discovered it at all.
I am a very self-centered person. Those of you who read my blog probably don’t know this – after all, you can only know someone so well over the internet. And honestly, I hadn’t thought of myself as a selfish person – not until it was driven home over the weekend.
I realized I’d been trying to fit God into my life, instead of fitting my life around what God wants. My vision had been totally skewed, even though I thought I’d been doing the right thing. I thought I was living for God, or at least trying to – and I hadn’t realized there was something so huge standing in my way. Me. I was thwarting my own relationship with God without meaning to by seeing myself as the be-all and end-all.
This was not an easy truth to swallow. It hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks, and I realized that my independant spirit had seized hold of me and was dragging me away. I love my artwork, and I love doing commissions – but they are not first and foremost in my life. I love writing and my characters, but they should not mean more to me than real people.
I should be more concerned about helping my mother and father and siblings than about doing what I want to do. My life is not, as the song goes, “All bout me, all about I, all about number one, oh my-me-my” but about God and furthering His kingdom. There are times when I should not be engrossed in writing, but should be doing the laundry because mom is too busy. There are times when I should put down my book and help a sibling with a project. There are times when I should leave the pencils and paper and go to the store with dad.
I’m a servant, not the one to be served. And while I discovered this, I didn’t ‘learn’ it. That’s going to take a long time, because selfishness winds around you like a strand from a spiderweb until you’re so thickly smothered it takes years to untangle. As Sergeant Slaughter says, ‘knowing is half the battle’ – so I’ve taken the first step. And, since this is a rather sobering post, here’s something a bit more fun.
This is a video taken at the father-daughter retreat of my best friend Hannah, our mutual wonderful friend Abi, and myself. You probably know which one I am, but just in case, I’m the one wearing the scarf. Be prepared to hear my voice for the first time, and please tell me whether or not you think it suits. 🙂