My brain hurts.
This past weekend I attended the IF : Gathering here in Little Rock, which was something I’d been looking forward to for a full year. Last year I had such a great experience, and I knew that there would be good things happening again this year as well.
See, I have this habit of manipulating God’s word, both in the Bible and through the inspired teaching of others, to fit perfectly into what my current wants and needs are. It’s easy to view my desires as holy when I filter them through my own version of truth. When I ignore the chaos and hurt that engulfs this world, which is pretty much most of the time, it gets easy to feel pretty good about my own small life. When I don’t pay attention to God tugging on my heart it’s easy to let my own ambition and pride rule the roost.
That means my self-righteous anger over things like dishwasher loading, attempts at book proposals, and missed nap times are the things that determine my mood and the way I love others. I am in every sense of the word a slave to myself. Which is sad, pathetic, and most of the time? A waste of space.
But here’s the thing about God: He redeems. Redemption isn’t always easy. It hurts to admit I’ve been wrong. It’s sad to see the way I’ve acted toward those I love. It’s pretty pathetic to know my own heart most of the time. And yet He’s still here, never giving up on me, using me despite myself. He’s taking those broken, sad, pathetic pieces of self and he’s brushing them off, building something new. I don’t know what it is yet, I don’t know what it looks like, and I’m fighting every little bit of selfishness in me to keep from taking control.
Admitting I’m selfish in every sense of the word is the first step, and it’s about all I can handle right now. My brain hurts from the spiraling-out-of-control realization of that fact. But my heart is hopeful because despite myself I really do love Jesus, and I know that knowing him changes people.
And I’m hopeful and thankful that He’s changing me.