I have had plenty of things to think about over the last week. Christmas was one of the most enjoyable experiences with my new niece and our entire family. Now New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and I feel that I need to be honest about a few things before I leave this city.
Last night was really humbling for me. I sat on my friend’s couch and got so broken. Not over injustice or issues around the world…but broken over my own pride.
I’m in the process of preparing to teach 150 World Racers about having a positive attitude. The scripture used in this teaching is Philippians 2:3, that tells us to think of others as more significant or higher than yourselves. I’ve read it a million times, quoted it, skimmed over it. But when I really read it, I realize that I don’t do this at all. Maybe sometimes, but then again I am usually spending my time with people just like me…who think like me and worship like me and believe the same as me. So at least when it comes to spirituality, this little piece of advice hasn’t been a difficulty.
Then I come to Tucson.
When I come to Tucson, a certain mindset creeps in. Not a very Christlike mindset, but it has been my way of thinking. And I didn’t think anything was wrong with my way of thinking because it was over-spiritualized and nobody’s ever called me out on it.
Until last night.
I am extremely humbled to say that I have not thought of those around me as higher or more significant than myself. It wasn’t an overt arrogance or selfishness, but the parts of my heart that I didn’t even realize operated this way needed to be exposed and burned. I’ve held onto offenses because of a real or imagined pressure to think like everyone wants me to think. The rebellion in me has thrown the freedom I’ve found in the faces of those I knew would disapprove. And all the while, I thought that I was further along, more enlightened, experienced. Yet I was not walking in love, the very first and very basic commandment. I say all this as I shake my head in the midst of my sin.
I’m learning a valuable thing: I’m not God.
And I’m undone by the way God still honors me even when I’m so presumptuous.
And so this is my apology, my repentance to you.
Tucson, please forgive me.