Friday, March 24, 2017

Tug O War

I am currently reading in Romans; I just finished with chapter 7.  The Bible I use was a gift to me from my Mr. when we were dating - he gave it to me for my birthday. I haven't had it for too many years, but long enough that I have started to stumble upon verses I've highlighted and words I've jotted in the margins.  I do that, you know.  I write in the margins.  It is the #1 reason I cannot share books with others - not that I don't like to share, but that I don't want my interaction with the words to be seen by all.  I digress.

This morning as I was reading on the wages of sin and death - it sounds so harsh when put like that, don't you think - I started thinking on what the writer was saying.  Verse 14 begins this tug of war on what a person wants to do and what they don't want to do - the struggle between what is leading the cause and the direction they want to take.  If you are a slave to one, you are mastered by it...

In case you've never had the opportunity to meet me in person, I am strong-willed.  Call it what you want, it is what it is. I have always been self sufficient, independent, and the one to take care of things.  I won't elaborate on the history to this making, but sometimes we become what we have to in order to survive.  While many would say this personality type is good, it certainly has its limitations and most undeniably its drawbacks. The biggest of which is when to be in control and when not to be.

When I am not in control of a circumstance I tend to act out in ways that aren't always beneficial to myself or others - essentially 100% of the time I use my words - my voice - to express my thoughts and feelings on the subject. I'm going to tell you, while in the moment there is a great sense of justification, of correcting a wrong, of being right.  However, this only lasts for a little bit of time, because then remorse sets in, or something all the more inappropriate - the justifying of actions by talking the circumstance/situation out with another person. *shudder*

I've spent countless hours turning this over in my head - why I have the need to voice myself so adamantly; I think I have found the driving force.  For my entire life, thus far, I have always felt insignificant.  As a child I was told I wasn't wanted, I was a mistake, and that the reason I wasn't loved was because my mom simply didn't know how.  I can remember trying to gain favor in her eyes by being perfect (whatever that is) but I could never be - I wasn't my brother and years later I certainly wasn't my sister - I am, and always have been, me.  Despite this, I never stopped trying to be someone worthy of being noticed and wanted.

However, this constant struggle to be significant has put me in a battle - a tug of war - with what I want to do and what I don't want to do. I want to be significant, to be wanted, accepted, noticed, needed for more than fixing someones problem and then forgotten until the next one comes along, etc. I want to be loved. These are not bad things to want and they are not wrong in the least.  BUT...the approach and the motivation behind them can be. 

For the wages of sin is death...  I have to admit, in this game of tug of war I am finding where I try to strong arm the circumstance with things like - "look at me", "I have this", "I am this", and the list goes on.  It is when these bouts of self-recognition don't yield any results that the words start to really fly and during all of this I receive the direct opposite reaction from others than I want.  In fact, what I am doing is intensifying the discord and causing a greater distance, which creates in me a deeper need to pull that rope back in my direction with my "strong arm".  ...push...pull...push...pull...

The kicker of it all?  This game that has left more than calluses on my hands and a broken spirit within has shown me that I have had the answer all along.  I am not insignificant to the one who created me.  He wanted me before I was physically created.  He designed me on purpose and for a purpose.  While the pain and hurt of what is cannot be denied, it does not define me.  I am so much more than my circumstances - I am a child of the one true king. While the wages of sin is death, he is life everlasting.

How about you?  Is there an area in your life where it is time to drop the rope?

- M              

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