I sit on my couch staring at the hardwood floor recently revealed in my roommate's removal of the area rug. She is presently locating the perfect spot in her wedding home and we are exceedingly excited for her. Our floor is bare. This is a drab beginning. I'm trying to use present tense and not use the word "this" and "that" every other line. You see, it's important for you the reader to take my writing seriously. It is necessary to convey my mastery of the English language, to present myself in a manner that makes you say "ooo" and "aaaah". Pardon, "...to present myself in a manner in which you are only capable of uttering "oooo"s and "aaaah"s. And how.
Frankly for the past 26 years of my life, as I am subject to the human condition of innate desires and fleshly wisdom, continue to wax and wane between an irrational concept of grandeur and a complete abandonment of self awareness. Grandeur (black) and lack of self awareness (white) bracket the equation and my waxing and waning often falls somewhere in between. In these terms it is easy to say, "Well no, grandeur is not something by which I would consider myself." oft spoke by individuals who have read case studies surrounding borderline personality disorders and narcism, or who are at least socially aware enough to locate and dutifully process the negative connotation surrounding "illusions to grandeur".
However when challenged, amidst conversation it is not surprising to find these same individuals arguing over who understood the concept first, who was accurate all along, and who has the next book being published that already covered all of it. No illusions to grandeur there, no, not in a group of 3-5 individuals- that's simply "staking ones claim" or "contributing to the conversation".
Abandoning self awareness is also just as ugly on the social foreground, it's all fun and games until you're the only sober one in the room and the complete abandonment of social awareness prompts you to locate your early childhood education degree.
The first producer I worked for stated that the wisest person in the room is often the quietest, someone also said in best crass fashion that the quiet ones are the best between the sheets- i'm single and not married so i'll get back to you on that one, maybe... doubtful- but the former is definitely true. Often the ones who are not promoting themselves or speaking up are the ones who are in laymans terms, legit. The ones who aren't legit, who are in their internal workings lazy and procrastinating project to their outer world hopes dreams and aspirations, illusions of grandeur, two cents. And/or are striving hard to make sure their outside looks good enough so they can work towards the inside. Vanity.
Sometimes when i'm bored I ask God to teach my something and then I just start reading Scripture.
One time most recently I opened up to Ecclesiastes, and said, why not...if you have never read this book make sure you get yourself some comfort beverage, a cool glass of coconut milk---- or a warm glass of coconut milk with raw brown sugar in it. Ecc. is a doozy, passed down from our man Solomon who in his reign assumed an enormous amount of wealth, a blessing by the Lord due to his earnest seeking of wisdom instead of riches. He messed up big time but that's another conversation.
You can be the most saavy person in conversation but wisdom is a precision instrument and Solomon was a brain surgeon who got a little too punch drunk.
That's was an intense metaphor. Ugh, that.
This entire book is him lamenting. Essentially. "All is vanity" "Nothing new under the sun" These little catch phrases originated from here and as I did read this about a month or so ago I can now aptly respond, God challenged my vanity.
I've never looked at myself as a vain person but refinement doesn't always smooth over jagged edges, sometimes it's much finer and the abrasion are a bit deeper. Coming out of PTSD paranoia will leave anyone a bit turned around but I was challenged in the way I approached others in conversations. The way I related to circumstances, and in relation to the Gospel what this meant in how I was loving others.
A quick side note - the number 238 follows me- probably because I listened to copious amounts of twothirtyeight growing up, and also because of Philippians 2:3-8--- go read it! Now!
If I am serving and choosing to love others and put regard them as higher than myself then any selfish notion or vanity is counter intuitive. These items can not coexist. Now I share this with you and because you are a loyal reader I will throw in a bonus item, warning: if you choose to ask God to point out this fleshy part of you He will.
Conversation after conversation I found myself pausing before speaking - realizing that what was being brought up in conversation was pointing to me, not to God, not edifying the other person and it felt good ! Of course! We live in a world where it's promoted above anything else, meet and greet's, elevator speeches, selfies.. we are a vain world. Holding your tongue and choosing to do something that means you aren't getting "your voice heard" and choosing "not to pursue your own desires". Remember we as a collective speeches are not necessarily the last word on the benefits of our desires. I desire to eat this entire bag of chocolate chips sitting next to me. Case in point.
And somewhere in all of this I got slapped in the face, reality checked into realizing that this vanity thing I thought I had under control was bigger than I thought. A woman came into the line next to me and had a beautifully inked calligraphy sprawl of the word "AUDACIOUS" across her chest.
And I thought to myself in my line while I was at my work making my money smiling at my customers and working on my spiritual growth, wow at least i'm not that vain.
And I rested in this thought for the next few minutes and then I hated where I was resting.
And then I realized that this woman had "AUDACIOUS" branded across her chest.
And I had the word "AUDACIOUS" branded across my heart.
It's good to recognize the gifts God has given you but only if you intend to use them. And it is good to give your opinion on subjects if it builds the conversation and brings clarity. It's also important to share your struggles especially with the intention of bringing others to pray.
Give me one good reason why I shouldn't shut this blog down right now. Give me one good reason why my contribution to conversations should be anything other than uplifting and edifying someone else. Give me one good reason why I should self manage, seek my own selfish desires, and even pursue those noble desires I have deemed fit for supplication in my relationships. Give me one good reason why I should do anything other than exist in this one isolated singular moment and respond to reality with love and the God given passion that fuels my creativity, and leave outcomes and rituals, and subconscious ocd laden "that"s in my writings as is.
Because in the end my contribution to this world will only be as great as the contribution of others inspired by the intentions of my heart. And if the intentions of my heart are inherently self seeking then my contribution is useless. Reread 1 Cor 13 with this mindset.
A peculiar people is what Paul describes in 1 Peter, one that is no longer bound to flesh, and this, this is where I will choose to rest. Come literally hell or high water, I choose to shrug the vain and see what happens when I turn the mirror from myself and choose to reflect some sunshine.
I'm not going amish, but color me grey on the Grandeur | Awareness spectrum.