“When I was in the midst of my suffering, I thought only of you.”
Ugh. Truth bomb deployed, but in all honesty I had asked for it. I’d asked the Lord to speak some truth to me. Whenever my mind was spinning I knew enough to know that’s what I needed. Honest, from God, words to keep me grounded. Otherwise my mind could get the best of me. My emotions tended to be like a loosely secured tarp out in the elements. When the rain came it would collect in a big old heap, but before you knew it the water would start collapsing over the sides. It had nowhere else to go. My thoughts were like that.
It usually happened when I was stressed out and had a lot on my mind. Or if there was something I really needed to work out, then it was guaranteed to happen. Yep, I’d be chugging along just fine, superwoman style, when all of the sudden some tiny thing would set me off. I’d be dealing with uncertainty like a champ, a brave face forward, but then something as minuscule as a slow internet connection would make me cuss like my former sailor self.
In these times of stress, where I felt overburdened by responsibility or the task before me, I would suddenly become keenly aware of my efforts in comparison to everyone else. I noticed my contributions in life the most. I needed to be let out in traffic first. I was in a hurry. I needed my recruiter to call me back now. Surely I was his only client. I needed my coworkers to do more, and I needed to leave work on time. I became acutely aware of everyone’s spending habits but my own when balancing the checkbook. I also magnified everyone else’s messes without seeing my own laziness. I needed computer problems fixed pronto, service people to answer the phone immediately, and the dadgum weather to cooperate with my off days! In my self-absorbed angst I was the inconvenienced, overlooked, and taken advantage of one. Even if I was contributing in a mighty way, that was all I saw. I was basically blind to the contributions of others. I couldn’t see the service in what I was doing, or even the love that caused me to serve. I’m not saying I didn’t deserve some accolades for it, but sometimes I let my stress turn me into a woman who only wanted applause. Or worse, who couldn’t see that she got a standing ovation on the regular.
When I realized I was becoming angry with my load, and that the more I thought about it, the angrier I got, I realized Satan was focusing my mind on all the wrong things. He was taking my eyes off Jesus and having me place them on myself. He was making me take my eyes off my love for others, and placing it on a false assumption of how I was being treated and what I deserved in life. Me, me, me! It wasn’t that I didn’t deserve appreciation. I did. But a selfish nature made me lose sight of the fact that I was highly appreciated each and every day. It made me lose sight of what others did for me. After all, if you’re too focused on what you’re not getting, you miss all the things you are.
Sometimes you have to take a breath. When the Lord reminded me how His thoughts were on me as He suffered on the cross, it wasn’t that He was saying I needed to be nailed to a tree for mankind to be right with Him. He was reminding me that I didn’t need to walk through my day like I was the one being crucified. Call it a false, Savior Complex. In all honesty, as much as I hate to admit it, when I put myself on such a pedestal, where the world is out to get me, everything is a personal, purposeful offense, and my contributions outshine everyone, then I might as well be tooting my horn that I’m the savior of my own little world. Well, I’m not. I’m pretty awesome, but not that hot. We live in a world nowadays where pride is promoted, being aware of your own power is encouraged, and expecting recognition for your participation is the norm. But I say there’s nothing wrong with being knocked down a peg when you forget the humble are the ones who will inherent the earth. It seems we need a few more servant hearts in this world.