It is so interesting that I so often have such a strong reaction to things I can’t quite find a reason for. A strong reaction to a parent’s response of faith, a misguided comment at church, certain people hanging out together, others having fun. I mean, I am having as much fun and enjoying life as much as any right now, but why am I having those moments of irritability and moodiness. Why I say? I am used to getting control of myself and have already gone through a time in my life where I had to work through all the moodiness and disengaging.
This is different. Of course. This is two becoming one. This is becoming family. The first struggle was for my integrity. This one is about maturity.
Which is why I have to handle differences well. I can’t just dismiss options or possibilities. I can’t dismiss a suggestion or advice simply because I want to be independent or because I’m afraid to be seen with flaws or just afraid to let someone see my life in so intimate ways as finances or bills or parenting. It seems that I often push away wisdom from peers or even my fiancée because I am afraid of being seen as flawed or judged incapable. (Which I know usually has the opposite effect of seeming more flawed!!! And I know of course the reality that being flawed is just the reality of wearing flesh.)
The truth is, I am selfish, and have been for quite a while. I am selfish and self absorbed. Relationships, whether a marriage, a friendship, or siblings depend on my willingness to let go of my selfishness- selfishness about controlling the perception about me, the selfishness of managing my own finances without wisdom, the selfishness of having the focus on me in every conversation, the selfishness of desiring my fiancées undying attention beyond what she could offer, the selfishness of wanting others to change instead of me, the selfishness of wanting to be told how good I am, the selfishness of wanting things to happen only as I want them to happen and how I want them to look, the selfishness of being moody or grumpy when I don’t get my way, the selfishness of wanting my vision more than another’s, the selfishness of not wanting or seeking help when I need it or when I say I need it, the selfishness of making every issue about me, the selfishness of not apologizing or seeking forgiveness, the selfishness of keeping my thoughts to myself, or the selfishness of wanting to control my environment in every way and not having fun with life. I’m selfish, which is a way of saying that there is insecurity (some of you nod as though I finally get it!). And I can do better. Really, I must do better. Because I am giving my life to another. Because I now love with a crazy passion a woman and child outside of myself.
And you know, I must move past the selfishness because the truth is, I am more happy than ever before. I am so incredibly happy and content. I am full of joy beyond my imagination. And in spite of my planning or the fact that I cannot control the future too much, I feel so confident that it will be okay because of those two I love and the presence of a caring and providing God they have revealed. I must do better than my selfishness, because my faith demands it. I must do better, because those two deserve and need it. I must let go of my selfishness, because it is not the reality of my life. Selfishness is fear when it comes down to it, because it masks the fear that I can only love and be loved- by God and my fiancée and my family and my church and my fellow disciples and friends- only on certain terms and conditions. But there is more than I can imagine. Way more joy than fear. In fact, there is nothing to fear here of becoming unselfish and maturing into the man of God I will promise to be on July 27.