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    Friday, January 25, 2013

    Sojourn: Day Twenty Five

      Today was my day off, so I wondered through the crazy winter land that is Pittsburgh!  Hilary and I are having folks over for dinner (if the roads clear up, P.S. I'm not eating) and we needed some food in order to feed these great people...so I went out to get some food at around 11:45am.

     The roads were awful but MJ and I ended up having some good one on one time as we barely got up an icy hill and then went shopping.

      I then got the great opportunity (thanks to my wife!) to lay down for a bit.

      So, on this day of the sojourn, not much has really been done, and I must confess I've not learned "anything new", but I am continuously learning the art of self-denial.

      I say "art" because self denial doesn't come to any of us naturally...in fact the opposite (self gratification) is our natural bent as fallen humanity.  So, just like any other art form, it takes practice to hone and perfect.

     This is an art form I've had little practice with and have recognized my desperate need to put more time in my life to hone this skill.  I am a self gratifier to the core.  I remember my father telling me that I had an issue with "instant gratification" most of my life.  I never wanted to wait for anything, in fact I can barely stand waiting now as an adult!  When I want something, be it food, a book, a movie or whatever I simply get it, or if there are obstacles in my way (like a budget) I find ways to move them, reject them or ignore them so I can get what I want.

      This way of living is not helpful, because it means that I consider myself and my "wants" (because let's face it most of the self gratifying we do is for wants, not needs) more important than the obstacle or the people behind the obstacle*.

    * Before I move on, let me unpack what I mean fairly quickly.  If for example the budget is the obstacle, the budget is in place so my family can pay our bills, save for the future as well as give to those in need.  If I move, reject or ignore this one obstacle I effect my entire family.  Big or small I effect them and one BIG movement of the budget or several SMALL movements amount to the same result.*

      Many things in Scripture lead down the road to self-denial, in fact Luke 9:23 suggests that we can't follow Christ fully unless we deny ourselves.  

      These are tough sayings and are even tougher to actually live out, yet it's part of being a disciple.  This is what I'm learning and hopefully will continue to apply to my life even after I am done with this Sojourn.