Summing up February – a Wild Ride, Pride, and Being Honest, 28FEB
Summing up February as a Wild Ride, Pride, and Being Honest, 28FEB
Summing up February – it’s been a wild ride. A wild ride indeed! My feelings fill me with pride – and yet that pride is wrong… I should be humble – and I am so grateful for what God has done for me… Yet I am joyfully proud of how God has worked me into a spinning vortex of faith… So far I have come, in mere 3 months… it makes my head spin – and that makes me humbled knowing that NONE of it was my doing… I wonder what March will bring…. a new chapter in my book certainly…. continued chapters in my life, prayerfully. Yes, only God knows where He will lead me and how I will follow. And as we march into March, it’s lent, it’s time to be honest with ourselves – I have to be honest with myself – pride or no pride – I’ve got to be honest and take stock of my faith – when the whirlwind is hopefully quieted down.
I am watching “The Nun’s Story” – Audrey Hepburn….a pivotal movie of my younger adult years… kinda sums up the struggles of the ways to worship Jesus, God and the Holy Ghost – the struggles of living to the Catholic rule. The Nun postulates are struggling to learn the controls of passions, the destruction of their love of self, and of course they are journal-ling to make confessions – all efforts to make their pride crumble – and not regain pride when they succeed in learning how to crush pride – a hard struggle – doesn’t seem that making 3 Hail Mary’s equated to each imperfection will truly help. But Sister Luke (the daughter of a prominent scientist/doctor), who seems to have endless doubts in her ability to be a nun, pushes forward anyway and sees this life as a nun in a hospital as the way to the Belgium Congo in 1930s and to become the nurse that she always wanted to be.
Why? – why? – why such loss of self required to achieve such higher state of humility demanded of this nun-candidate – why? – such the contrast to where I am now – in a non-Catholic Christian church – no one here is stopping me from spinning my faith vortex… The contrast between her spiritual health and my spiritual heath is interesting. See, I feel I am not supposed to forget my background – see I feel I AM supposed to use every last little bit of my background, all my history, all my experience to witness to the powers and gifts of God… to do God’s work…. I just don’t know…just like Sister Luke asks in the movie, “How do I know this is what God wants of me?”
So much to learn from this movie – if you have never seen it – I recommend it – very reflective of struggles – Sister Luke even was asked to fail her final examination (in the most specialized tropical medicine course that she could even teach) in order to allow another sister to pass – she tries but she can’t… too much pride. Sister Luke asks “How do I know this is what God wants of me” – she doesn’t know – I don’t know… she doesn’t take the fall – she can’t help herself but to shine in the exam…and because of that she is not sent to the Congo anyway, until she learns more humility.
She is sent instead to nurse at a horrific sanatorium – it is the worst place ever – and she is sent there to learn humility – and yet she finds herself with more pride – without another sister present she enters the room of a very mentally ill person who calls herself “the arch angel Gabriel” the most violent of patients… she is tricked and she is over-confident – with a sense of heroism and yes, she gets what you could see was coming to her – she is overpowered and hurt… her pride and disobedience get her.
Sister Luke wants all or nothing – she wants a resting place where humility and obedience are easy… NOPE – no such place exists…. NOPE! Now, there is where she and I are the same – we both want to find EASY peace. We both want to channel our overconfidence into the higher strength – we both want to get to that Congo – and make the most of our God-given talents…
So much for me to pray about – about overconfidence – about using talents and yet – taking care to not over-commit to what is not easy and should never be viewed as easy…
Last week my experience with an unknown person exemplifies this… This kept me on that edge of friendliness and overconfidence…. watching out for those boundaries… Thankfully I was told that this person had suffered a traumatic brain injury and he wouldn’t even remember me five minutes from then… and yet – it was important and good for me to act as a friend – but not be overconfident – it’s practice. He and I had a great conversation about Jesus – about staying clean and saying no to peer pressure – about his past wrongs – about mac and cheese – about life… yes – the whole gamut of conversation…. He certainly was a humorous fellow – he even propositioned me twice and he tried to be funny! Yeah – you got to be careful – I have to be careful – he could easily have become my “arch angel Gabriel” and overpowered me if I was alone – he could have made me fall from grace by being overconfident – funny but not so funny… Be careful – always be careful my mind keeps telling me – yes put yourself out there – use your God-given skills – but be careful.
Eventually Sister Luke sorrowfully is pulled out of the Congo – called to be an example for the incoming postulates – the reverend mother says: “the more we are looked to for example, the better example we will become….”
Eventually Sister Luke does break – she does decide she is more useful not as a nun – but as a rebel – part of the underground group fighting against Hitler. She has had too many struggles with her pride – she had even half fallen in love with the wild and brutally honest surgeon who calls her out – he tells her she will never be the nun she strives to be…. she knows that…she has tried – but her pride…. she finds being honest with herself is the best she can do – live life as it comes – day to day…
We all have to be honest with ourselves… pride or no pride – we might as well be honest since God already knows every thought we have … Honestly, we have to pray for the strength we need – “the more we are looked to for example, the better example we will become….” I pray always for discernment…. let me know Lord what words come from You and what words come from me…. This post is probably 90% me – the other posts are so spirit-led… but this post is just me being honest…. God knows my inner thoughts – and I do ask God to move me forward as the best example I can be…. “the more we are looked to for example, the better example we will become….”
I pray to live to Your purpose – not mine!
Let’s march into March….
Praise God always.