Well folks, we’re in the final stretch of the fast and I won’t lie to you, that gallon of sweet tea in the fridge has never looked more desirable. It’s amazing to me how strong just the desire for certain foods is in myself. Plenty of things are easy to decline because they hold no appeal to me. If someone offered me a cigarette, I would have no problem giving them a polite yet firm “no thank you” because there is nothing in them that attracts my palate (or any other part of me).
As part of an expository writing class I’m currently enrolled in I have had to read The Awakening by Kate Chopin (who I already didn’t appreciate after reading her disturbing short story “The Story of an Hour”). I’m already not a huge fan of feminism because of the general vibe of self-interest and self-exultation that I get from it. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy having access to higher education and the ability to work and vote and so forth; however, the cycle of the underdog pushing so hard for equal rights that it eventually wants more than its fair share is as true of feminism as it is of other movements. I will end that train of thought there.
As I go through this story, albeit well-written, I believe more and more that it is just not worth reading. There is such a strong imphasis on the self, such a blatant disregard for the effects of any character’s actions upon another, that it irks me to take into my mind. The only noble character in the book is the one portrayed as mindless and pitiable.
All my ranting aside, the story is a good reminder of how far self-interest can take an individual. Even Christians are often caught up in waves of new age philosophy about self-esteem, self-worth, and other self-hyphenations. We are indoctrinated from toddlerhood to “be ourselves.” It all sounds great on the surface; indeed we do have worth and should be secure in our identities. God created us all to be unique and gave us each purpose in His kingdom. Our error is to try to find esteem and worth outside of the context of God’s creating us and directing our path. We have value because He gives it to us (Psalm 8:4-5). We are esteemed/exalted when we humble ourselves to His plan (Matt. 23:12).
If there is one thing that I have learned to do over the last two weeks, it is to submit my self to a greater purpose of God. It is a discipline that I intend to continue throughout this year, because believe it or not I have actually enjoyed seeing the out-working of the authority over my flesh that belongs to me as a believer in Christ. “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” —Romans 8:9-10