Earlier this semester God opened my eyes to some things I had given up on, some areas in my life I had become complacent. He showed me that I'm still depraved. I've responded to that by rising up again against my "Philistines" that I have to keep fighting over and over again.
The roughest lesson, though, has been in the past several days. I've been sick for four days now, and it has made me quite cranky and short-tempered. If you couldn't tell, it's because you couldn't hear what was going on in my head and missed the times I actually got miffed.
Being sick has also been an obstacle to my "running the race," to use the 1 Corinthians 9 metaphor. I've let myself become apathetic and distracted by my sickness, using rest (which you need when you're sick, don't get me wrong) as an excuse not to run after God. The result is that not only am I physically uncomfortable, I'm also spiritually lacking. And boy, do I feel it.
This sickness has also provided a great reality check. I've been leading small groups of friends in worship sessions, singing and playing my guitar. We had one of these sessions planned recently, and I talked to my friend Chris about a change in plans because I was sick. His response was frank and very true: "Don't cancel it. It's great to have you singing to lead worship, but ultimately it's about God and not you." He phrased it gently, but I reacted negatively to the truth that was in what he said. That's when I realized that worship leading had already started to go to my head. I foresee more humility in my future.
I've learned that if you ask God to humble you, he's not just going to magically put a feeling in your heart. With me at least, he has put me in situations where my human nature and rough edges are set very clearly before me. I can either let this discourage me more or pray for strength and fight against my flesh. One of the reasons I like having this blog is because now I'm accountable to each of my readers to do the right thing. Humility is not fun, but it's good.
To be honest, I'm still in this slump I've mentioned. I'm exhausted, but before I went to bed I wanted to see about jump-starting my comeback by confessing this to anyone with an internet connection. Perhaps "jump-starting" isn't the right phrase... I think writing about this situation honestly is a sign that I want to make the right choice. By this point, I've seen the blessing of obedience consistently enough that I know walking in obedience and swallowing my pride is not only the right thing to do, but it feels much better than wallowing in self-pity and letting my wounded pride fester.