Pride. Aslan. And Barry Manilow. (But Mostly Pride.)
Pride. One of the ickiest words I know. I hate it. It makes me feel small, and petty, and just…gross. I started thinking about this the other day because I felt myself getting all puffed up about something silly. It’s easy as a (semi) public figure to sometimes allow your ego to get the best of you. Even though I KNOW that nothing I’ve accomplished is because of my own smarts or strength or abilities, I still at times allow myself to get caught up in my own hype. Stupid, ridiculous hype. Like “Oh, I have a verified Twitter account so I must be super cool.” Really, Mandy? A blue checkmark next to your name is the establisher of your worth? (Insert unimpressed emoji face here.)
So…anyway. Back to the other day when I got puffed up about something. It was one of those moments when I KNEW how silly I was being and I was completely irritated with myself. I was also irritated with someone else for not “acknowledging me” the way I thought they should. I even thought to myself for a brief moment: “Don’t they know who I am?!”
In the words of Barry Manilow: “Oh, Mandy.” (If you don’t know the song, I can’t be your friend.)
It was in that moment that my fallible, fleshly, painfully human and unjustifiably prideful self asked that question in my mind that I felt God sort of rise up like a lion (I was picturing Aslan) and roar:
“Don’t you know who I am?”
Oh, yes. You. The Alpha and the Omega. The Beginning and the End. The One who was and is and is to come. YOU. Beautiful, perfect…You.
The Man of sorrows…the One acquainted with grief. The Perfect One who wasn’t even a hero in His own hometown. The One whose presence was snubbed and feet remained unwashed at the Pharisee’s house because they opened the door to their house to Him but not the door to their hearts. The Lamb who was led to slaughter, and spat upon by the very people He was dying for. The One who, the night before He died, took off His robes like a peasant and washed the grimy, unworthy feet of the ones who would deny Him and abandon Him and betray Him.
I have the audacity to ask in all my smallness: Don’t you know who I am?
And He responds in all his bigness: I AM the Great “I Am.”
He is Everything. I am nothing.
To go back to the Barry Manilow song I referenced above (and who knew Barry Manilow could preach the gospel?!)
“You came and You gave without taking…but I sent You away…”
He gives. We take. He loves. We fail to. He humbles Himself. We puff ourselves up. He shows grace. We show unforgiveness.
Don’t we KNOW who He is? Apparently I don’t. At least not well enough.
That’s the root of pride, you know. The need to be recognized. The need for worthiness and acceptance and love.
And yet, all of those things we’re grasping so desperately for…we already possess. In Him.
THAT’S who He is.
Lord, help me to better remember this in 2015.