Friday, April 29, 2016

You only see what I want you to see

You see this:
A perfect sunset, next to this classic landmark, with my best friend.
The root of all evil is pride. Man's heart desires nothing short of the inexhaustible pleasure of himself and to give all glory to himself. Selfishly robbing himself of the inexhaustible richness of Gods grace by holding tightly to himself like a child holds on to a candy bar in a store. He couldn't possibly see that the sweet he is holding on to is keeping him from the grand dessert his mother has planned for the family to enjoy together. He can only see the candy bar and it's waste less vain attempt at lasting satisfaction. "If I could only get it" he says, "then I would be the happiest person in the world." And so fear of not being happy draws him to the prideful thought that he must have that candy bar, because he "deserves it" after all.

So, behind that celebrity walking down that red carpet with that perfect dress on, is a celebrity afraid of what is to come ready to overdose on drugs once again.

Behind that man in the business suit walking down Wall Street, is a man filled with the fear that is family might not have enough stuff, and the willingness to lie cheat and steal to get more.

And behind that college graduate who looks to be having the time of her life traveling the world, is a young woman fearful people my see her broken heart, so she makes her life look splendid on Facebook.

And behind the shadow filled walls of my heart, there is a fear, a fear that no matter how good I may look, no matter how good I may act, no matter how exhaustingly I fear God, I may be found guilty of pride. The pride of my life is the root of my sin, if my pride is not found in the grace and goodness of God. 

It is a tiresome practice to maintain the image of prideful perfection, it wears the soul down until all that's left is a scarred bitter face, overcome by selfishness and self-pity. Perfectionism ceases to end when we continue to portray only the most beautiful, perfect moments of our lives on social media. We are so fearful of man, and so unafraid of our God, and it drives us to do things we never would imagine doing with our lives. 

With that being said, an open confession:
My life is not perfect.
I wake up with crazy hair.
I wear mismatched outfits.
I forget to shave my legs.
I love photography, but am constantly frustrated about wanting to find the 'perfect' angle.
I don't post the twenty other pictures I took until I got the one "good enough" to post.
I have seen a lot of the world, but traveling is not my god and it is not worth being a god
I fail to love God well every day of my life.
I put myself before others often.

The pictures don't tell the story of 6 sick students asking you a million questions in a day, expecting you to feed them often. The pictures don't show you how impatient I am, how I get easily frustrated with having the same question asked of me 5 times in 5 minutes, how I don't love my students well, how I want to quit, and how tired I am all the time here. And the pictures don't show you the brokenness I feel when I see people in this country without Jesus.

What you don't see is this:
The 1000's of other people trying to fight their way to the front to take a good photo, pushing people over the edge just to get the perfect angle (okay not really-but that's what it felt like).
You only see a part of me. My life is imperfect. I fail often. I do what I don't want to do, and I don't do what I wish I did. I long for those who meet me to know I fall short of the glory of God every day, and that by my weaknesses God shows His strength.

So incredibly thankful for the grace of God,
L