I read Isaiah the morning. Thankfully with a potent coffee in hand. So much doom and gloom.
So yeah, I decided to go for something more inspiring and flipped to Matthew.
I flipped randomly and landed on chapter 16. My mug of coffee was now at about 74% capacity. My ego around 91%.
'Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat - I am'
Jesus was making things clear to his disciples, just in case there were any confusion. Interesting that He would even point this out. I mean, could it be that there were disciples who intended to follow Him but ended up staying in the driver's seat? Of course there were. I'm a shining example. The idea of following Christ is romantic. The reality is painful. It's easier the follow the idea of who I think Christ is than the reality of living a surrendered life to Him.
God created man in his image. And then we returned the favour
~ richard rohr
By now my coffee is at 42% and my ego elevated to 94%.
He hits them with another one:
'Don't run from suffering, embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how.'
When I flipped from the depressing passages of Isaiah to find something more inspiring this wasn't exactly what I had in mind. And that's the problem. What I have in mind. My mind doesn't enjoy statements and truth bombs like these. My mind wants to figure things out, recognise patterns, predict danger, secure safety, and avoid pain. It's a brilliant machine designed to keep me in continual comfort. Comfort nurtures the ego at the cost of your true self. It's the place where growth dies. And we all know, if you're not growing, you're dying.
He goes on:
'Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self'
In 2022 this statement makes absolutely no sense. We live in a #selfhelp, #selffix, #selfawareness, #selfconfidence, #selfcare, #selfgrowth, #selfacceptance, self-obesessed selfie taking global culture. These things are not wrong per se, and we have to understand why it is this way. Probably because people around the world intuitively know there has to be more. What is truth, was the big question. What is real, is the other one.
Am I real?
Is this real?
How could I ever know?
Jesus gives a counter-intuitive answer.
Sacrificing the self has to do with sacrificing the ego. The one in the driver's seat. The invitation is to live life as your true self.
Coffee, 26%. Ego, 147%.
'What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?'
Jesus puts the final nail in the coffin.
He questions the deal.
He questions reality.
He questions decisions.
He questions security.
He questions comfort.
He questions desires.
He questions intentions.
He questions motivations.
He points out the value of a soul.
Mine and yours.
He values it.
Time for more coffee and less ego.