Monday, April 18, 2011

In Pursuit Of Self

"From the rising of the sun to its setting The name of the Lord is to be praised." ~ psalm 113:3

When I was a little girl, I was the center of my small universe. I have the distinct memory of riding home from  lake Sherando- I guess I was about four years old or so- looking out the window of the unusually quiet car, staring at the moon. Every time we turned, the moon seemed to follow us. The faster we went, the moon kept the pace.

"Mommy!," I remember excitedly whispering," The moon is following me..."
Now that I have my own children, and I know a little about the so-called psychological development of children, I realize that this "egocentric" view of the world is a "normal" stage of development in a child's life.


And, of course, we hope to pass through this self-centered phase, as remaining the center of one's own existence is certainly not the foundation of maturity. Have you ever met an adult who still thinks that life should center around him or her? We all have moments of self-god, but hopefully it's not the norm.

There is one area of our lives, however, where it would be good to see ourselves in the center, in focus. As I took my walk yesterday, the sun seemed to follow me. I was once again that child in the car, small and think that the sun follows me. It was not the arrogance of self being glorified. It was the humility, the awe of a child, that such grandeur would pursue nothingness. That though I am not worthy, He gifts me every day in innumerable abundance.

That it doesn't matter  how good I am, or what I do, or how I look. That it doesn't matter what my house looks like, or how my kids turn out, or what a mess my life is. That perfection is not the prerequisite. He pursues me because he loves me. He Loves me. Is there really anything more than this?

Every day God pours his very life out for us. Every morning we must commit ourselves to sharing in his love. Loving God isn't about being good; loving God is about becoming a receptacle of his grace by choosing Him above all else.

"Choose you this day whom ye will serve."~ Joshua 24:15

Every morning, every moment, I make that choice. Loving God isn't about me; I am only able to respond to Him, to be filled with love, because He first calls me. And when I respond to that call, when I choose to serve Him above all, I love Him in a way that completes self: self in the center, self radiating out, self widening circles that unleash His love to others.

Invitation To Love
by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Come when the nights are bright with stars
Or when the moon is mellow;
Come when the sun his golden bars
Drops on the hay-field yellow.

Come in the twilight soft and gray,
Come in the night or come in the day,
Come, O love, whene'er you may,
And you are welcome, welcome.

You are sweet, O Love, dear Love,
You are soft as the nesting dove.
Come to my heart and bring it rest
As the bird flies home to its welcome nest.

Come when my heart is full of grief
Or when my heart is merry;
Come with the falling of the leaf
Or with the redd'ning cherry.
Come when the year's first blossom blows,
Come when the summer gleams and glows,
Come with the winter's drifting snows,
And you are welcome, welcome.