I write a blog so probably I would fail to convince anyone that I don’t have a fairly high level of self-absorption. But then, since no one really reads the blog, it’s fair to say that I write it for myself. Blogs like this one are the epitome of a navel-gazing obsession with the details of one’s own life. Well, I do cook too, and write about cooking, but my food obsession is self-serving as well. I cook so I can eat and I love good food.
I am a writer who feels compelled to write personal essays. I dig through the fossilized remains of my life—past and present—trying to figure it out, trying to make meaning. It’s just what I do. But I realize that this whole blog thing can be tedious for the unwary reader who stumbles on this “body of work” of mine. Snore . . . . Who cares?
Today at worship service Pastor Mark was speaking from Galatians 3 about faith and the law. He talked about how, in today’s prevalent culture, we don’t want to submit to God’s law, that in our arrogance we set ourselves above God, that we become our own god. (Isn’t this what led Adam and Eve to the Fall?) And I thought, yes, convicted, I often set my own wants and needs above God. It made me think about sin—when I sin often it is my ego that makes me sin. Someone has damaged my pride and I strike back. Something seems not fair to me (don’t they know who I am? I don’t deserve this treatment!) and I will tighten my grip on resentment and anger. I’m greedy; I want stuff. Pastor Mark asked, “Are your trinkets the source of your joy?” Yes, I like my trinkets. I’ve worked hard, I’m a good person, I deserve the trinkets. I want other people to value me more than I want to please my God. Will they value me because I’ve got the best trinkets? Will they value me because I’m smart or witty or I’ve got the prettiest house on the block? This sin-ridden self of mine becomes an idol, replacing God who should be at the center of my life. This self-centered thinking is not leading me closer to God. I’m on the wrong path. He deserves the adoration—I don’t.
To mature as a Christian I need to grow in an understanding of my own sinfulness as I grow in an understanding of God’s holiness. I’ve got a long way to go.