If I had a life theme for the last few months it would be Reading and Siestas. If there were something deeper it would be Selfishness and Esteeming Others More Highly Than Myself.
Living an isolated life in a large group of people creates a strange dynamic. I'm always with people, but hampered by language issues, I'm rarely "with" people. The interactions and friendships are real, but limited. I'm familiar with, and enjoy, the challenges and loneliness of truly being alone and the interaction and growth that comes from living in community, but this middle ground is messing with me. Having a crack-load of downtime doesn't help much.
I don't want to be self-centered, but it's hard not to be when you are human and you spend a lot of time in introspection. I am selfish and thinking about my selfishness doesn't fix anything. Getting down on myself for being self-centered only adds fuel to the fire, like a narcissist calling everyone's attention to how narcissistic he is and telling them how awesome he is to have seen his flaw and to be doing something about it. So yeah, I see the irony of writing an introspective blog about being self-centered.
For the lat few months, when faced with one of those dinky moments of frustration founded in someone screwing with my perfect little world, there has been a voice in my head repeating, esteem others more highly than yourself, esteem others more highly than yourself, esteem others more highly than yourself... baby steps.
I don't think I'm more selfish in Haiti than in the U.S. it's just a lot harder to hide in the distractions of life out here. I get to see more of my brokenness and then feel stupid for paying attention when there is other stuff to do. Hopefully that voice will have more of an impact on my actions when I get home, hopefully I'll think of others before myself, hopefully I'll be better at loving others rather than being frustrated by trying to figure out how to be better at loving others... hopefully Anchor Man 2 doesn't suck.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Started working on an old project again and I read this, thought you might like it,
"God isn’t content with yesterday. If our eyes rest on how things were we miss the new horizon, the next stage God calls us towards. Christianity should never be comfortable; it should always be a challenge. The moment life revealed by Christ stops challenging the way we see and relate to the world around us we know we’ve lost sight of Jesus. As far as this life is concerned, there is no arrival, there is always a next step and a new challenge intended to bring us closer to the reality of God and his kingdom. We can rest in the knowledge of God’s love for us, the authority of his action, his deep intent, and our identity as sons and daughters of God, but we can never rest in thinking there is nothing more to do and nothing left to learn. The deep challenge of true relationship is the ever-present demand to love and love deeper, better, and more fully than the day before. The expectation to maintain an old self or a present comfort distracts from the point of the thing. Like a young child, growing pains are a necessary reality of becoming a full-grown being. When we seek to maintain, rather than embrace the challenge of growth, we embrace our own disfigurement and stunted growth."
I've got about a month left in Haiti and I want to finish well, no idea what that looks like or what comes next.