Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


Cold Hard Truth

The drive home from work was cold. Very, very cold. The temperature was below 20, and I was doing my best to figure out which was better: driving fast to gain the promised warmth and rest of my bed, or driving a little more slowly so as to delay the undesirable inevitability of having to face the twenty frigid yards from the car door to the front door, as well as the deadbolt that would delay my entry into the warm house by a few seconds.

Despite the importance of that ponderance, however, something else weighed in on my mind. My thoughts went back to last summer, and the spiritual state I found myself in. I remember sitting in Leeman's office, telling him why I was looking forward to the beginning of the new school year. The pain of life and the reality of sin had beset me in an overwhelming fashion, and I was looking for a way out. The new school year, with the all the excitement of seeing old friends and making new ones, would provide that much needed escape. Or would it? I feared that at that point, I was looking forward to it for the wrong reason. I told Jonathan that I didn't want to enter the new season with the wrong heart, with the wrong perspective on things. I can clearly remember telling him how, most of all, I desperately wanted to enjoy God. If I couldn't enjoy the Lord for who He is when no one else was around, what made me think I would enjoy Him any more when others would surround me? I would be trying to fill my life with distractions, with an escape from the reality of my shallow relationship with the Almighty.

That's a sad state of soul, isn't it?

I'm faced with much the same now. I don't quite feel the depths of despair that I felt during the summer, but I do recognize the same thinking, the same type of doubt and hints of guilt that are wont to come in the wake of sin and pride. It's not a state that I can say I'm happy about, but it is one that I'm grateful for. Why? The recognition of this gives evidence that the Lord is at work in my heart, because if He were not at work, I would not even care about the fact that my desires for Him must be pure. After all, He alone is the One who can purify my desires and my heart!

As I neared the house, my thoughts went to the many faces that now occupy my life. The Lord has blessed me with many friends since that talk with Jonathan. Many of the friendships I'd already had have grown and blossomed. Yet, I found myself loathing the way I treat those friendships in my heart. I find that I often look to those relationships to see how they add value to who I perceive myself to be, rather than looking to those relationships to see how the Lord might use me to encourage the other person, or perhaps to catch a glimpse of Jesus being formed in someone's heart. In essence, I try to make the blessings of the Lord into things that propound to my glory, not His. Ugh! It's a sobering thing to ponder, especially at 5:30 on a frigid January morning. There's not much to soften the blow from the cold, hard truth the Lord reveals at such times.

It's times like these, though, that make me appreciate the warmth of God's lovingkindness so much more :)

posted by Bolo | 5:46 AM
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