Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sinners Anonymous

Job was an honest man. He was honest with God, with his wife, with his friends, with himself. He wondered what he may have done wrong, and finding nothing, was honest in how he felt, how he interpreted his circumstances. He told God how he felt. He told his friends.

I thought I was fairly honest.

But I’m not. I saw my children through the lens of my love and took a distorted view of them into my heart. I took that image out and shared it with my friends, my family, and passed it around like any proud father. Nothing wrong with that, except that I have not provided my children the resources, the support that best addresses the challenges they face. Friday I will be meeting with a psychiatrist to share my insights and get a better sense of who he is. For his sake I need to practice better honesty with myself.

I am prone to putting my best foot forward. I want people to like me, to respect me. When I write these pieces for this blog I go over them many times so that they are well-crafted, perhaps error-free. I tell myself that I do it because I want to do the best at all that I do, or that a good writer considers the audience, respects the reader, and therefore approaches what is written with a certain level of care.

What a crock. I want you to like what you read. I want you to like me. It is true that I write these things to work out my own internal issues, and in sharing them I make them serious heartfelt essays. I also hope to help people, and perhaps be a witness for Him, perhaps helping someone make that important decision. But I cannot deny that I enjoy accolades. I like seeing that I have a regular reader in Hong Kong, and I wonder why someone from Nepal or Iraq chooses to read this stuff.

So when my life gets messy, I try to clean things up a little before I lay them out for the world to see. Some of that is what I should do. There are issues going on with my children, my home, that should not be for public consumption.

I suppose this posting is really a sort of confession. I have not been honest with myself regarding who my children are. I want my readers to think, “Gosh, what a swell guy!” But the truth is I’m just as self-centered as anyone else. I don’t have it all together. I have been cranky with my wife, perhaps even a jerk (why is it that we can be harshest with those we love the most?). I could give the excuse that I am under a lot of stress, that I have taken on more than I should, that I am too busy, too tired.

That is where I am wrong. If I am a Christian. . . no, strike that. If I am a Christ-follower, then I should be living I Corinthians 13. I should be praying unceasingly. Not delving into some private little pity party.

So, let me ‘fess up: “Hello, my name is Curious Servant, and I am a sinner.”


“I am a sinner. I keep putting myself first. I think about myself before I think about my children. I think about myself before I think about my wife. I think about myself before I think about my creator.”

(Murmurs of understanding from the Sinners Support Group.)

“I worry about things in which I have no control. I am secretive when I needn’t be, and I make grand gestures of being open when it makes me look good. I often try to do things for others quietly, anonymously, but I really don’t mind when I am discovered. I am proud of things that are not mine (artistic ability, writing skill, etc.), they are loans from Him. I tend to think that the privileges I enjoy (just because I was born in the midst of north America) are inalienable rights. I am demanding of quality service from public servants (ex.: DMV), and not patient enough with others (especially in traffic). I am self-centered and weak.

“And I am scared. I am nervous about what this doctor will say. I really don’t know what is going to happen Friday and I am afraid that it will place burdens on my family, ah let’s face it, on me, that I am uncertain I can bear."

So, I’m laying it all out there. I want you to know that I am a phony. I try to be a good follower of Him, but I fail constantly. I want you to know that no matter how polished my posts are, they are that way because I do a lot of polishing. They don't just flow out that way. I am not anything like Job. I deserve far less from Him than He bestows daily.

But If you would pray for me and my family I would be grateful.

Heavenly Father: I am weak and unable to do anything without Your help. I offer my life up to You right now. Let me truly be Your servant. Let me feel You near and to acknowledge daily, hourly, continually, that You are sovereign. I lie face down before Your throne and acknowledge that it is all about You. Take my life and shape it LORD. Take my home, my family, my wife and my kids and the dog and the fish and every bush that needs trimming, every squeaky cupboard, every thing I own, valuable and worthless, and make it Yours. Guide me LORD in what You would have me do. I am Yours. Amen.


G~ said...

What an awesome post-slash-confession, CS. Thank you for being so open. I hope I can do the same. And I know just what you're saying...we think we're open, honest, etc.

But then we get a glimpse of ourselves and are shocked. At least that's how I feel.

I think those glimpses are God's way of making us put things in perspective and bring them to Him.

Stand on, brother, stand on.


Anonymous said...

cs, remember billy joel's song 'honesty?' you've got what he was looking for. your confession is refreshing. it will help all of us to 'look closer in the mirror.' such a degree of direct confession is good for the soul. now if all of us will do the same....

Nancy said...

Hey Curious Servant,

We DO like you! Thanks for the refreshing post...


David said...

Once again you reached out and hit me right in the stomach.

BTW, you do come across as real and very likeable. And I stress the word REAL.

You have a talent to reach out to people. ANd you are using that talent well.

Maripat said...

CS--don't feel guilty if you choose not to share certain things. Blogs are open to everyone and some things are probably too private to expose either because it might hurt someone's feelings or it might embarrass an innocent person. There's nothing wrong with that.

To be honest you're very vocal about some things that I know many real life friends would never talk about.

Thank you for sharing this part of yourself with us. Take care.


MMM said...

Hello. My name is ModernMaryMagdalene, and I am a sinner...too.

I am about to do a very selfish thing, I am about to tell Curious Servant that he said exactly what I was thinking, only I didn't know I was thinking it until I read his posting.

And I am amazed. But prostrate right beside him before the Face of God.

AMMMen, brother.

bjk said...

Wasn't I don't think I ever fool you....

Thanks for allowing us the privilege to pray for you and your family. What a gift.

BHGA said...

Bless you....I have been praying for you and your wife and children and will is indeed a privilege


curious servant said...

Thank you.

All of you.

Anonymous said...

Curious Servant
will be praying for you and family

4evergapeach said...

CS...I have been reading your blog for a while but have not commented before. I just want to share this with you....

For a while in my life I had fallen off the path to God. Just about the time I started to try and guide myself back on the right path I found your blog. You have been a shining light to help guide me towards Him. I don't believe it was just coincidence. God has used you to help bring one of His sheep back to His fold. For that, I thank you.

One thing I do believe you are honest about is your relationship with God. This is why I think so many come to read what you have to say. I know that I would like to have a closer relationship with Him and you are a shining example. And for that, I thank Him for bringing me here.

God Bless~

Internet Street Philosopher said...

You are so right, CS. Many times I also try so hard to put my best foot forward and try to keep up apperances that I will forget to acknowledge that I am not perfect, and the more I try to be perfect, the more I screw up. And God is just standing there waiting for me to look to him for help.

Lorna said...

honest and painfully so.. and you know what,we love you even more.

its' ok to take a good look at yourself, but remember that God sees your heart all the time, and he sees your desire to become more liek Jesus in all you do

parents see their kids though the lens of love. most of the time. On Saturday I didn't - I was too angry disappointed to do that -

but that's another story.

be blessed as you walk towards the light

Ragna said...

I hope I am right when I say this, because this is what I am reminding myself of all the time: God sees me differently than I see myself. It doesn't excuse my wrongs, but it does help ME to at least try to put on God's glasses. He knows it takes a lifetime of learning and growing and He never stops loving us along the way...I have learned to turn my focus around, and it has set me free.
You know our mutual friend Chris who died a couple of years ago. After she died people seemed to idolize her accomplishments and she was made out to be very close to perfect..You know what, she wasn't..The Chris I loved was the one who had lots to learn and who struggled with life at times. That's OK and that's what made her endearing and approachable.
So be who you are and let God love and cherish you.
Your friend and sister-in-Christ,