Tuesday, October 18, 2011

four years ago: in a nail salon

I sat smugly in a Main Line salon in the middle of a weekday, getting my nails done.  My show was opening that night, and with a new hair style paid for by the theatre, a mani/pedi would be the finishing touches on an actress ready for her spotlight.

I was very full of myself back then -- thinking that, somehow, I was better than other people.  I don't know what other people, exactly -- maybe just people in general.   I got to go to nail salons in the middle of the day, when "normal" people were working, slaving away and wishing for a life like mine.  I got to spend three hours a day at the gym, because it was important for my job to be physically fit.  I was living my dream, and getting paid to do it.

Of course, these thoughts were kept secret in my mind.  I wouldn't dare utter them aloud, and instead allowed my naturally-humble demeanor to carry my through social situations.  No one could see into my thoughts, and so I could go on with the facade that I felt like everyone else.

But now, in the light, don't you see how ugly it all was?

"But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be made known.  Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the rooftops."
Luke 12:2-3

Maybe on the outside, I was pretty -- with my new hair, perfect nails, and svelte figure.
But inside, I was ugly through and through.

"Therefore do not go on passing judgement before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts."
1 Corinthians 4:5

This memory came to light today as I went through my menial, weekly chores -- the mopping, the folding, the getting-dinner-ready-ing.  It came in a flashback -- like many memories from my past life do -- and typical of the inner actress inside me, I felt the same pride I felt back then.  Sure, it was only an instant -- a flicker -- and then it was gone, but it really shook me up.

I used to be that way all the time,  I thought.  And then I thanked the Lord that He brought me far from that life.

And then I caught myself.  How far had I actually come?

Friends, I think pride is one of the slyest sins in the book.  It creeps up inside you when you least expect it, and it lodges itself deep in your soul -- in a place so out of conscious reach that it finds healthy nourishment to grow.  Even though my life is vastly different than it was four years ago -- when I was in the height of my self-worship -- I can't pretend to be unaffected by past habits.  Sure, maybe I don't gloat inside the way I used to, but is there even a bit of me that thinks of myself as better than another because I do (fill in the blank)?  Aren't I just as susceptible to pride in other areas of my life, such as church attendance or simple living or blogging or cloth diapering or keeping a clean house or having a baby who generally sleeps through the night or any myriad of things that I should not take pride in?

Yes, friends, I am still susceptible to pride, in all its ugly, gruesome forms.

But at the same time, I don't want to take away from the work God has done/is doing in my life.  I am vastly different than I was four years ago, and I am in a much better place.  And part of being in that place is admitting that although God is saving me from all forms of self-obsession, I am still prone to such things.  I am still fallen.  I am still susceptible to sin.

But I don't want it, and I am thankful for a God who reveals to me daily that I am in desperate need of a Savior.

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