Friday, August 10, 2012

Ferris Wheel

I hate ferris wheels. The up an down makes me nauseous. And throughout the ride you see the same things over and over again. 

I think I ride a ferris wheel in every day life.

My daughter tee-tee's in the potty consistently all morning. I internally pat myself on the back for training her well. Later she decides to pull down her undies and flood the playroom 3 times in a row. I internally wonder how I lost control of my kid. I fear I'm losing her.

My son recites scripture about obedience and hiding the word in his heart. I think I've done the right thing to teach him the Word. Later we are in a shouting match about what's fair/not fair and end it all with a spanking and tears. I internally wonder how I lost control of my kid. I fear I'm losing him.

My husband thanks me for all that I do and then makes supper for us all. I think how our marriage is a good example of the way it should be and I'm proud. Later we are frustrated and miscommunicating about what he really meant when he said "I guess..." I internally wonder how I lost control of my marriage. I fear I'm losing him.

Am I the only who is in constant battle with my thoughts and heart? Its a constant pull between pride and fear. When things go my way, I credit myself and I'm happy. When Ive lost control of a situation and things don't go my way, I have fear that I'm losing something.

"Pride takes over because we come to believe that we are the right kind of people. Fear takes over because we dread losing control." -Richard Foster

I'm very excited about re-reading Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. As I am preparing my heart to begin studying Spiritual Disciplines, I'm begininng to see how much the above quote is true in even the little things of every day life. Its even more so true for my relationship with Christ.

I read the Bible in my bed at night and I'm excited about what I've learned. I internally credit myself for being a good Christian and have a sense of self-righteousness. Later I can't understand why that bad attitude or that selfish thought slipped into my day. I wonder how I lost control of my relationship with Him. I fear I'm losing Him.

I see now how much pride and fear screw everything up. I am so self-sufficient. And what a crummy person I am to depend on. These Spiritual Disciplines that I'm about to study do have the potential to accelerate the cycle of pride and fear and self-sufficiency in my relationship with Christ. The introduction to Foster's book warns against this.

"The needed change within us is God's work, not ours."
"Human striving is insufficient."
"Righteousness is a gift from God."
"God has given us the disciplines of the spiritual life as a means of receiving His grace."

He warns that there is potential for Disciplines to be morphed into "Laws." We all know what "Laws" did to the Pharisees. It caused externalism. It caused pride and judging. It caused a less than intimate relationship with Christ. 

"When we genuinely believe that inner transformation is God's work and not ours, we can put to rest our passion to set others straight."

I don't need to set God straight. I don't want to be on the ferris wheel of pride and fear and constant wondering where I stand with God. I HATE ferris wheels. I need to let Him work from the inside out. I have a feeling that the change in my heart would result in less pride and fear with my family as well. 

"He who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life." - Galatians 6:8

Just as a farmer prepares his field for nature to do the work, so am I preparing my heart for God to do His mighty work.