Merry Christmas to one and all.
And although this is the day we have deemed to, in the words of Relient K, "celebrate the day that [Jesus] was born to die, so I could one day pray for Him to save my life," it isn't what is on my mind so early-late this morning-night.
As I'm lying here in my childhood bedroom attempting to sleep I was thinking about humility. I have a myriad of quotes in post-it note form on my computer screen. Many of which are C.S. Lewis. I'm telling you the man was brilliant. One of them reads, "Humility isn't thinking any less of ourselves, but thinking of ourselves less."
Spurred on by a conversation with a friend, I was lying here, trying to imagine what that looked like. A mental image popped into my over-active imagination of an eager face looking at other people with feigned interest. It seemed forced and shallow. And you know why I think that is? Because my nature when I first begin to ask a question about the look of an action is to imagine the look of the action. I know that seems overly-obvious and stupid, but hear me out.
Maybe what I do so often isn't ask the question of, "how does this play out in my heart?" but rather, "what should this thought play out to in my life?" or rather, "what will people think of me when they see me acting this out?" And as sickening as that looks as I write it out, that is almost automatically where my mind goes all the time. It's about the posture I take.
The other day my sister-in-law and I were talking about how much we compare ourselves to other girls. What resulted from this conversation was the reminder that to be healthy isn't to necessarily feel like we are the creme de la creme, but to consider ourselves of equal value as the rest. I think the concept is the same for our faith. Maybe humility isn't raising or lowering ourselves on the "Christian totem pole" but maybe it's not needing to focus on ourselves and being able to take in the steady rhythm of life while walking with God as best as we know how.
Every one of you reading this probably is like, "well duh Emilie." But it's kind of a fabulous thought to me. I've thunk it before. But the word "posture" came to mind tonight and stuck. When I imagine posture I imagine the Princess Diaries when her grandmother ties her to a chair with handkerchiefs. It was about her appearance, and in that scene, and basically throughout the entire movie, she is not a graceful woman. When we try to posture ourselves, or place ourselves in a specific light, we tend to focus on the actions. It becomes about who we talk to, what we read, where we go to church, what information we know about whom; all these little factors with which we use to define ourselves and use to either tear ourselves down or build ourselves up.
The other side of the coin is looking beyond our posture. Asking for healing so we can root out our incessant needs to rate other people and ourselves and base treatment upon that.
Sara Groves sings this Christmas song "To Be With You" and it's one of my favorites. In the song, she says, "we gather round the table, we close our eyes and sing 'Praise God from whom all blessings flow.'" And it sticks with me for no other reason than the subtle reposturing in my mind that happens when I look at the celebrations that are occuring yesterday and today and choose to say, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow." It grounds me. This year I don't need a big theological anthology to make me enjoy the season. I just needed to be reminded of God by a 300 year old liturgy.
I think maybe that's a big chunk of the walk that I miss so often. I think it's part of the reason I blog. I am a fickle person and I constantly need reposturing to look at things clearly. Writing is like a magnifying glass for me. It causes me to collect my thoughts in a pile, examine them, and sort them into their reserved places. Some of them are unripe and go back through the grinder, some need the finality of "publication" to settle deeply within me, and some, well, some are fresh and new and just need to be tossed out to see what's next for them.
So with a critical eye, I deem this thought one to be churned for awhile. Gnawed on. And for that, Praise God from whom all blessings flow.