Sunday, August 16, 2015

the problem of self

Today's readings: Nehemiah 11:1-12:26, 1 Cor 10:14-33, Psalm 34:11-22, Prov 21:14-16

Something really cool happened today. I had an insight this morning. I was planning to maybe write about it in today's blog (the thing you're reading right this second, in case I'm not being clear). But I wasn't sure it would fit, and I didn't want to force it. And then I forgot about it. :)

So this evening, I had a second insight, and wanted to share that, too. And that reminded me that I had had an insight this morning. But I couldn't remember what it was. So I prayed and left it up to God. If He wanted me to talk about it, He would remind me.

Well, I get to 1 Corinthians 10:24, and there is my insight! "Don't be concerned for your own good but for the good of others."

Here is what I realized... we are inherently selfish. Everything is about me! This is why it's hard for me to forgive myself when I sin. This is why I get so down when I do something wrong. And it's also why I don't usually help other people like I should. It's all about me. Making myself happy, doing what I enjoy doing.

That's why the greatest commandment, the most important thing in life, is to love. Because it takes me out of myself. It frees me from my selfishness. It's no longer about me... it's about God. It's about other people. I'm not trying to decide if I'm holy enough... I'm focusing on how amazing God is. I'm not thinking so much about how good I look... or how bad I look... or how much I want that new thing at the store... instead, I'm focused on what other people need. What will make them happy. How I can make their lives better.

One big example of this that I'd never thought of before was the idea of being patient. Everyone wants things to happen right NOW, and for them to happen in a way to please ME. So it's not like we're all just waiting around for things to happen and some of us "get it done" while others are fine with things happening whenever. We all want our turn right this second. But patient people give others the gift of their time. Our time is valuable. No one likes to wait. But patient people put others first, and give them the gift of their time by waiting patiently so the other person can finish sooner and be happy. The idea of patience as being a gift of time was new to me.

So it was really cool! I had this insight, forgot it, gave the whole idea to God, and then was reminded pretty much VERBATIM what I had realized this morning so I could write about it tonight.

Thank You, God, for insights and for reminding us what they are.

PS the other insight I had was very philosophical... it was about sentience and God being the perfectly sentient One ("I think, therefore I AM") and how we humans vacillate between being more like God, and more self-aware, and less like God, more like animals, and less self-aware. And I wondered if we could ever become perfectly self-aware like God is, or if we could completely LOSE our sentience and become like animals (dumb animals, if you believe that some of them are sentient). Is that what heaven is? Perfect sentience? And is hell when you lose it all together, and cease "to be"? hmmmmmmm....

1 comment:

julie reedy said...

Wow you really had a great day. I just happen to disagree with your belief about yourself. You are concerned with others. You normally think about doing for others, or you always have. You care about others feelings to the point of walking away from a confrontation, not from fear or intimidation but respect for others.