A few days ago, someone close to me reminded me of some of my less finer days. This person didn’t mean to do so, as things came up in casual conversation. However, the details of my vileness were brought to the forefront of my mind and I felt filthy. I felt like a grotesque worm wriggling in rancid heaps of rotting refuse. It was like someone dumped some smelly, dark sludge over the pure white robe of righteousness that was issued to me by the Captain of my soul. I felt useless and wondered why in the world I was left in the world. There I wallowed for two days in the ultimate funk. I know this was not the proper reaction from me but I couldn’t seem to help it. I am keenly aware that there was some sort of enemy seizing the moment to take me out of action. It worked magnificently as my focus was on my poor, pitiful self and not the Savior.
Don’t feel sorry for me. Oftentimes I think very highly of myself. I can go the exact opposite way, look at the Saviour and start thinking about the wonderful things he can do for me. I can even turn our worship songs into a session of self-focus. Look at me! Look how much God loves me! Look what he’s doing for me! That’s a lot of me. Don’t get me wrong – we need to understand as much as possible how much he loves us and has given so much for us. But can we begin to worship the giver’s gifts? I think so. So, it is good to stop. It’s good to stop thinking about ourselves. Shift the focus.
I’ve traveled a fair amount, mostly due to being in the Air Force, and have seen some beautiful things. The Scottish Highlands (notice I mention that first), the Swiss Alps, The Great Lakes (where I’m from), The West Coast Highway, and Great Redwood Forest, to name a few. When I think about it, I’ve never taken in the spectacular scenes of the Grand Canyon and said “it’s doing so much for me!” or “Look how it’s making me look!” No, I just look. The picture is there, live, in all its glory and there’s very little thought of me at all. Instead it’s just there and I can’t help but focus on it. We can recognize the beauty as a gift of God, but let it remind us of the ultimate beauty of God himself. Let our focus stay right there. It’s a great way to start the New Year.