and the most eager to win fame

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The Beowulf poet (or the collective that laced the threads together, of which the sole remaining manuscript is only one permutation) may be correct in his theme. Not merely the angsty, bloody battle-driven warrior cult of the Anglo-Saxons, this obsession for fame proves wedged deeply within the most tedious individual sitting at a microfilm machine making photocopies for five hours.

I keep finding this desire for fame swimming uneasily around the more self-conscious parts of my mind these days. What I mean is that all the different occupations and preoccupations that I have been giving myself to, those by which I frequently define myself, have this desire within them.

School. And this is not so surprising, seeing as the catalyst for actually doing the paperwork to get in was the simple phrase, "You look like someone who has the Master's glint in their eye." (And lest this come across in a spiritual sense, Master's in no way refers to my most awesome Master). But it is never enough to just think, or to even just write, or even - o even - to just enjoy! No. It must be that I am known.

Home. Why is it so easy to imagine taking the bus with my [future] children, the perfect little images I have made them to be, and to see only myself in every corner of the vision? My aspirations. My perfections. My good discipleship. My boast to holiness. My gift(s) to the world. My bus ticket the crucial one.

Love. There are moments when I seriously doubt that I have ever grasped even the slightest shiver of what it means to be possessed by the all-powerful constraints of Love. "For the love of myself constrains me!" The most well-worn path down which my mind, emotions and body travels is that which ends in "What about me?" Truly, it is so easy to think, "But you should not be treating me like this! But you should know what I want! But you should be Christ-like and forget yourself and just focus on me." (I'm aware of the misunderstanding in this last one. But then, it is at the core. Christ humbled himself, remembered me, gave himself for me - but he did not forget 'himself,' did not give himself purely for me. The greater glory: He went to the cross for the joy set before him, that joy which was indeed the redemption of a people for Himself, but there! For Himself. For the glory of the Father. To the glorification of the Son. His very purpose - how could my very purpose be any less? Why do I keep Christ in a bracket? O self, o self, o self! The love of myself constrains me! Let me out! Let me decrease; let him increase! Out of the brackets in the paragraph that is my existence, my life, my being).

A poet once described the humbling: "...still enough to finally tremble..."

O may our bodies wait, still enough in the presence of the Almighty, that we may start to tremble in the presence of the Almighty, his power pulsing through our bodies as the love of Christ sustains us so as to constrain us.


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