Friday, September 2, 2011

Suffering For My Pride

How do we end up making life-altering mistakes?

Often, it isn’t one big instance by itself
but rather a series of small bad choices
that we make over a period of time
and they are often built on a lie;
the allure of something we convince ourselves
will bring us more joy,
greater happiness and fulfillment.

It starts as an idea,
maybe from a friend, or our own boredom,
a small thought that brings us...
excitement, power, freedom,
a greater sense of something about US,
fed on by our inner compulsions-
the sin nature that is encouraged by satan.

In these next few months I will be writing more
about the life I experienced while on the “Inside”.

To begin, while I was at Oregon State Penitentiary(OSP),
having too much pride was something that could kill.

The last few weeks here in Oregon,
have been especially warm
and I was reminded how the open bars at OSP
exposed us all to the heat of the day.

While we each earned our sentence
and thus have no right for comfort,
when the 90+ degree weather comes,
the small cells for two men seem more like a cooking pot.
I saw men men take off their shirts
and at night lie on the concrete floor for some relief.
My “cell-mate” and I would disinfect
our floor, sink, and toilet weekly when the weather was moderate,
but on warm days,
the smell of our own bodies would become too strong,
so we cleaned daily.

One other thing we did
was to scour the toilet after each use during the hottest of days.
Why?
It had a regular source of cool water,
and we would often take turns
to submerge our feet for some relief from the heat.
Disgusting?
I say so too!
But when we want something to improve,
we found creative ways to make things happen.
No pride in those moments.

And thats what denying my pride means;
humbly laying down my preconceptions
of the world, and my self importance,
then being open to God,
and allowing Him to be in charge of everything
so that I will be ready
when He brings me to the place I shall serve Him next.

Can He still use me?
When I doubt, I often recall how God
allowed Joseph to spend more than 13 years
in slavery and prison in Egypt
so that he could serve a greater purpose:
to save the nation of His people.

While that may not be anything like what God intends for me,
I know He can still use me.
For instance,
Today,
I will be the best husband, father, and servant to God that I can.
And thats how your perspective can change too,
when you submit,
give up your pride,
and humbly accept what God brings.
He has a greater plan in store!
Will you wait for it?

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