Our staff meeting on Tuesday was particularly good for me this week. It woke me up from myself.
We started off by praying for a specific situation of sexual exploitation happening in Central Asia and for the larger issue worldwide. Then we prayed for a few key leaders in our midst who are all seeming to be undergoing tough challenges and spiritual attacks of various sorts recently. I particularly and necessarily needed to feel the weight and help carry the burden for others. It was exactly what I needed to get out of my self-focused funk in my little cave as of late.
As I felt the weight of the present trials and difficulties of this world, I was tempted to be too weighed down with the heaviness of magnitude of some of these situations and questionning of God asking why there had to be such pains and injustices in this broken and clearly imperfect world. Yet in my momentary heaviness I was glad for this opportunity to look up from my navel which I had been gazing at too much recently. I've been more aware since that point in this week of my navel-gazing and simply got tired of it.
Last night as I found myself yet again working through and over-focusing on myself, I actually got tired of myself and tired of thinking about myself. So I took a nap. (I had a headache too, which was too easy a reason to complain for myself, so my strategy was to take a nap so I could wake up fresh with a new beginning, which is one of the things I love most about waking up, either from a night of slumber or an afternoon nap.)
Waking up from my nap was like the much needed turn of tide in our prayers for the latter half of our staff meeting. We had started with the heavy burdens of evil and trial in the world and in our own lives, yet we necessarily concluded our meeting by praying for several encouraging happenings and "God-on-the-move" activities coming up. No doubt there is a correlation between all these good things happening in the spiritual undercurrents of our city and the spiritual hits our leaders are taking.
When we face a setback spiritually, the temptation is far too great to be discouraged and dragged down, rather than seeing it as an indication that we might be causing enough flag-waving in the spiritual realm to invite attention to ourselves. In our weakness and despair is always an opportunity to find our strength and hope in Christ. We must lift our gaze to Jesus. It is a matter of survival.
I'm tired of focusing on myself and writing all my blog entries on that topic. If I'm tired of this, there's a good chance you are too, so I do apologize for the heavy dose of narcissism in this blog as of late. If you catch me putting a whole entire post on the topic of me, myself, and I anytime soon again, please please do everyone a favour and stop me from indulging in my self-reflections and spare you of them too. Seriously! Please, and thank you!