I was the baby of four children. If you do one of those birth order analysis things on me, that makes me the spoiled, attention-hog of the group. Well, that's probably pretty accurate. I remember being desperate for people's attention as a child. I was constantly trying to stick my nose in the grown-up's conversations. Trying to say and do funny things to turn the conversation my way. Helloooooooooooo! Look at me! Adore me! Come to think of it, I still do that.
But there is a part of me that detests that. Probably the part of me that is seeking after God and what it really means to know Him. I hate it that I want all that attention. I hate myself for feeling that way. There are times I fight so hard against that and try to blend. I have to make a very concsious effort to listen to others, to hear them and be honest and genuine and think about their needs before my own. I suppose there is something in me that is even selfish about serving others. If I am sweet and kind and caring then people will think I'm so great. Really, don't we all hear that voice? Don't we all want to be recognized to some degree?
Lately I've been fighting hard against that martyr. That martyr keeps saying things like, "You meet everyone else's needs...who is meeting yours? Why does your husband get to do things without children whenever he wants, but you have can't?" I find myself getting angry and resentful when he tells me he needs a day at school to work on things "without interruptions or distractions".
No distractions? No interruptions? What is that like?
Then I get angry at myself for not being better than that. For not being able to give the man what he needs. For not being more supportive. For not being selfless.
God, I want that. I want to be selfless. I want to be perfect and righteous and holy. I want to care less about myself and more about others. I want my life to be about serving and giving without a thought to my own desires.
But is that possible?
This is a recent struggle I am having. I was raised in a traditional church, where the idea of outreach was to knock on someone's door and invite them to church. To witness to someone was to grab your Bible and take them down Roman's Road. But all that left me feeling more like a door to door salesman, and that has never been my forte. I think all that helped to train me to think mostly about, well...me.
Here, let's have church just the way we like it, surround ourselves with only things we like, wear only the kind of clothes that will make us feel special, sing only songs we enjoy, and custom make this service to our liking. Then we can invite people to come and check out our wonderful thing here and if they don't like it they can go on down the road. Just invite them to church and everything will be fixed if we can just get them in the building and make them good, faithful, church-goers. And in all our classes we'll teach exactly what it means to be a good church-goer, by discussing all the things we should or shouldn't do to live a good, clean life. Then when we go home we will feel good about ourselves and everything we are doing or not doing. Church is all about feeding ourselves and getting fat on God's Word.
But I can't blame it all on the church, because I'm the one that bought into it.
Even on this blog I have found myself becoming obsessed with people reading it. I check that little Site Meter constantly, trying to figure out what I can do to generate more traffic. Oh my gosh, I am really sick.
I want to get past myself. I want to put away that little girl that always needs to be the center of attention. I want to be a mirror, that reflects back to God everything that is wonderful and magnificent about Him. I want my actions to speak volumes about Him when my words can't possibly scratch the surface.
(A note to all my friends in Blog Land: I am not searching for compliments or affirmation. Only being completely honest and voicing my feelings. Please don't feed the Monster today :-)