Food for Thought

Posted by  | Thursday, April 22, 2010  at 10:20 PM  
I know this week's topic is Our Favorite Products, but Melissa posted some great thoughts on her blog this week that I really wanted to share with everyone.
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on comparing.
04.16.10

The other night my sweet husband came home from work, and, as usual, began to fill me in on his night.

“Tonight this family came in with a bunch of boys with the same haircut and I couldn’t figure them out…I finally thought it was triplets and another boy. ‘Cause it was four kids. But, it turns out it was four year old twins, a two year old and a one year old. I was like, ‘Dang.’”

“The dad was close to my age.”

“What was the mom like?”

“Uh, I don’t know. Brown hair..”

“Hah. No. That’s not what I mean. Was she a stick, was she fat, organized, frazzled?—”

“Not a stick, I mean, she looked like a mom. You know, not like she hangs out in the gym everyday or anything.”

“Okay… Well, was she like my size, bigger or smaller or—-”

“No, she was like your size.” (cool, right? I mean, she’s had four kids in three years, I have had TWO and we’re neck and neck according to my husband. Which is to say, not a stick.)

“Ooh, so you think I’m fat…”

Instead of going down that road, I went on to explain what I really wanted to know. “Babe, I really meant what was she like– like does she pee her pants when she does jumping jacks, is she healthy, are her reproductive organs still in tact, does she eat well, does she take all four with her when she has to go grocery shopping, do you think she used cloth diapers, is she pro-organics, is she pretty? These are the things I want to know when you tell me things like this.”

Randy’s eyes widened. “Whoa. All I asked was what they wanted to eat. I didn’t even come close to thinking like that.”

In a woman’s world, my queries are not that strange or surprising. We are so quick to size up our “competition.” We compare ourselves to others to see if we are doing ok, if we can do better, or if everyone else is living up to a higher standard than we are. And it’s just plain not right. (I won’t go on about the lady that sized me up in the nail salon today, as if she was evaluating whether or not I belonged to her social class or if she was better than me… or the teenagers in the mall who look at me as though I am the queen of frumps.)

Anyway, behind my husband’s voice, I heard that still, small one asking me why in the world I needed to compare myself to her. We ALL fall short of the glory of God, and that’s the bottom line. Of course others are skinny a week after giving birth and I am still working on my weight, but that’s the body I got. (Really, Lord, you couldn’t just make me fit and trim without any effort on my part? Why not???) Winston Ludy writes, “‘Normal’ to God isn’t a set formula, it’s obedience no matter what the cost, absolute trust in his leading, and total dependence upon him for the outcome.”

I am reminded by this remarkable excerpt from CS Lewis’ The Horse and His Boy:

“I do not call you unfortunate,” said the Large Voice.
“Don’t you think it was bad luck to meet so many lions?” said Shasta.
“There was only one lion,” said the Voice.
“What on earth do you mean? I’ve just told you there were at least two the first night and…”
“There was only one; but he was swift of foot.”
“How do you know?”

“I was the lion.”

And as Shasta gaped with open mouth and said nothing, the Voice continued. “I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you. ”
“Then it was you who wounded Aravis?”
“It was I.”
“But what for?’
“Child,” said the Voice, “I am telling you your story, not hers.”

It’s so hard to not evaluate my standing in life according to my accolades or my peers or some other sinful standard. Why is that? Well because the real standard, Jesus Christ, is harder to follow, and yet he doesn’t want mere compliance to a standard. He wants my heart. The whole broken thing. He wants me to care about pleasing only him, and he will put my heart back together again. (As for my body, I guess I will have to stick to the 30 Day Shred.) This comparing is not just a female phenomenon, (see Piper’s article here), but it seems that us women do it much better than most men.

I love how this quote, speaking of love, also reflects the truth of real LOVE himself:

“For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, so shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant…

[the prophet. kahlil gibran.]

4 comments:

Casey and Karen said...

Thank you for this!

RafaelLetso21555 said...

若對自己誠實,日積月累,就無法對別人不忠了。........................................

雲亨 said...

人生有如洶湧的波濤,如果沒有岩石的阻擋,怎能激起美麗的浪花? ..................................................

Sara Stegall said...

There is such freedom in knowing who we are in Christ. Comparing ourselves to others leads to insanity! I hate when I get caught up in that. So important to keep our minds SET on Him, so we know who HE says we are, and we stop believing the lies. Thanks for posting. You are awesome Leah.

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