A few months back I started a blog titled “Lyin’ Narcissists.” It was about the candidates in the upcoming presidential election and politicians in general. I wrote a few pages and then put it aside. Maybe some day I’ll finish it– but probably not. I’m not the same person I was three months ago.
In June, I spent 9-days in Scotland on a short-term mission trip. This was my sixth mission trip overall, and the second to Scotland. Last summer around the same time I went there with another team with similar goals. But this time it was different. The five of us that went agreed in our debrief that it was just about perfect in terms of both accomplishing the team’s goals and personal satisfaction. While there, we taught Celebrate Recovery (12-step) principles in a Teen Challenge drug rehab, Sunnybrae. When I was teaching I felt an “anointing.” It feels odd for me to use such a hyper-religious term, but I guess that’s what it was. I could feel the Holy Spirit working thru me. I came back transformed.
However, the transformation wasn’t completely due to the trip. I’ve been reading a wonderfully insightful book by Eugene Peterson on Jesus’ parables and prayers, and I’ve also been listening to some Graham Cooke CDs on nurturing our prophetic gift. The Peterson book I’d picked up several years ago, read a few pages and then put it aside. I sensed that there would be a right time for that book. A few weeks before the trip it caught my eye and I started reading it again. I also had been reading the currently popular biography about Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I got it for Christmas and had been pecking away at it. I finally came to its heart wrenching final chapter. Just reading about Bonhoeffer’s courageous life can be transforming.
It’s not been all sunshine and roses. Transformation is often painful. I’ve had to apologize to God for what a cynical, negative and worldly person I’ve allowed myself to become over the past few years. The darkness within had been growing, slowly eroding my first love. Sometimes, I just feel heartbroken about that. I guess I’ve been born again, again. Well, I also felt compelled to tell the lady I’d been dating for 10-months that I loved her–that was not what she wanted to hear, and so that’s been another painful change.
Anyway, I’ve changed some personal habits too. I gave up carbs and lost 8 or 9 lbs. I feel better and have been exercising more. I’ve also stopped listening to talk-radio and gave up watching the news. For me, it’s as toxic as sugar. That’s why I’ll probably never finish the lyin’ narcissists blog. I no longer care. It’s all opinion, and in expressing mine all I’m likely doing is alienating someone else with a differing one. The Victorian novelist and preacher, George MacDonald, felt that way. He would dispute beliefs with no man. To him it was all “opinion”–as opposed to the Truth. Jesus and His light shining thru him is the Truth–all else is just opinion. I no longer want to feel that rush of anger when I put someone down in my thoughts. I know that my job is to as much as possible see the Jesus in everyone. When God looks at us, the ones Jesus died for, that’s Who He sees–His beloved Son.