The summer flu has migrated to my throat.
This is dangerous territory, friends. Me without a voice? Oh the horror. The absolute horror.
Less so, I think, for those around me, who might just find my strangled voice a welcome change.
The fact is, I'm a talker. A grab-spotlight-and-only-give-it-up-at-gunpoint person. And this is NOT a strength. Because I do this, there are many around me who might infer that I neither realize I do it, nor understand what I'm doing. Neither is true. I do realize. And there are times when I even realize that I'm riding roughshod over those around me to garnish attention. And though some of you reading this might say, "Then stop it," it's not that easy. Would that it were. That any sin was easy to conquer, to throw in the dustbin once and for all, never to pick up again.
This is my besetting sin, I think. It's the thing of which Paul writes in Romans 7: 15-20 "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it."
That's a pretty long, redundant passage to say what I know to be true in my own life. What we each do, if we admit it. No matter how much I want to do the right, I don't always do it, and even at the very moment I most desire it, sometimes I fail. There are times--at large family gatherings--when I pray that this time, please GOD!, I won't talk more than listen. This time I'll be the one who serves and sits in the background and doesn't have to drive the conversation. This time I won't open my small-on-the-outside, but oh-so-verbose mouth and suck all the air from the room by my wit. And this time, I won't hurt someone's feelings by saying something insensitive.
And still I do it. There is the room, there are the people. My people. And my good intentions get swallowed up. Yes, even my prayers get swallowed up in my default setting. So much so that others don't see that I'm not really all that. That I don't really have diahhrea of the mouth and have to spill everything I know to everyone I meet. In fact, I don't. I absolutely don't. HE sees to that.
It's just that there is also a sinful nature here. It has not been eradicated. That is the truth. I do not do what I want to do.
I'm thinking of this today, of course, because though I'm sitting alone right now, we are four hours away from being swarmed for the summer. Four hours away from when my short-circuits will tell me that it's time to go on stage. My spirit is willing to be quiet among these people, this family of giants (and the shortest person coming to our home is barely under 6' tall), but my flesh is definitely weak.
No, the truth is, His Spirit is willing. Maybe I should stop there.
I am who I am. The oddest thing about me is that I need--like I need air--silence in my daily life. I am absolutely lost without it, because it means I haven't had a moment with Him. And the less time with Him, the more likely to be loud myself.
All this to say...I will need prayer in the next six weeks. Prayer to be less like me and more like Him. To have Him glorify Himself in me. That's the way. The only way. Then maybe, just maybe, I can give up that spotlight. To others.
Even better, maybe to Him.