“Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is.”
This morning, I gained a glimpse of insight into the nature of my heart…
<aside rant> I know what the Bible teaches on these matters and I choose to believe that’s true; however, I tend to feel that I lean toward the softer side of “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” It’s just that I’m really not that bad of a guy. I almost always want to do the right thing, and even in the times that I don’t want to – I still choose to in most every situation.
OK, well the Bible also says that this “righteousness” is the life of God through me. Again, I choose to believe that is possible, but I am still the one making the decisions. No one ever says it’s the God life through me when I do something wrong. So, even though God may be the enabler, I am the chooser of my rightness (and I also choose to believe that this is very different from being self-righteous because that would be wrong and we’ve already covered how I don’t usually take part in things that are wrong – at least that’s what I tell myself). </aside rant>
…Now, back to my heart – Every now and then, I catch a glimpse into myself, an accurate glimpse. These times cause my belief in myself alone to topple like a house of cards. It’s as if God knows that I struggle to truly realize my dependence on Him; so, he lifts the veil for just a moment and quickly recovers me with His grace.
Today, it was a very simple thing. I started my day with a shower and manly grooming (because I like cleanliness). Then, I picked up a few things around the house (because I like order and I’ve heard something about it being akin to holiness, or maybe that was the clean thing, either way – it’s good). Next, I scraped off my wife’s windshield (because I’m a great husband and her car was parked in the road to avoid the icy driveway climb this morning). After that, I headed to my office early (because I am a good provider and like the alone time before the rest of our team comes in). Then, I read my daily devotional (because I’m such a good Christian). Next, I made a list of things I would complete today (because I recognize that distractions will come and want the ability to quickly refocus to be highly productive). And finally, I began to catch up on my email (because it has to be done – this is where the heart thing comes in).
One of my emails included guidance from one of my leaders on a coming task. The guidance was relevant and to the point; and, it made me swell with anger. You see, I don’t need guidance on this matter. It’s something that I have done many times. It’s something that I have been complimented on over and again. It’s something I am often asked to teach others. My soul spoke to my consciousness, “Who does this guy think he is instructing me in matters for which I could be teaching him?” In a matter of seconds, the day I had made shiny was dripping red. My fingers poised to type an intelligent response carefully worded to mask sarcasm and criticism behind an elegant curtain of submission.
Then, the veil dropped.
My eyes teared at the horror of my heart’s reaction to such a simple thing. As my head cleared, I realize that the intent was helpful. How could I be so full of myself as to take offense at such a thing? I had been caught off my guard. C.S. Lewis states that “Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is.”
Thankfully, this wasn’t a face-to-face interaction and I had time to compose before hitting that powerful “send” button, which magically transports the written word to life.
I am on the right road, but as the haze clears I see that the ultimate destination is still oh so far away. Glad to know someone greater has committed to taking me there even though I am often a resistant companion.