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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Death to Self

Mom and Meg, THANK YOU for commenting. I really LOVE comments! It helps to know that I'm not just writing to the ether. ;) I'm glad, also, Meg, that I could help you in your time of transition. Perhaps it is more difficult for you to endure the heat positively because you are waiting for the time when you will have AC? I think that not being ABLE to have or us AC was way more difficult than choosing not to use it for the various reasons I shared previously.

So, I've been having some really stimulating discussions with a homeschooling-Mom-friend of mine who is not a member of the same church as me, but who IS an amazing Christian. In her most recent note to me she said, after telling me that she'd lived without AC as a child, "I'm not sure if I totally understand going there as a choice unless there is something spiritual to be gained by it, but if that is where the Lord has called you, I trust that His grace is sufficient." Amen to the last grouping of words starting at 'but'. His grace is totally and always sufficient for anything we are called to do!

I include the quote from my friend because I've been thinking SO much about the sort of underlying purpose in so many things the Lord has called me to do/experience/endure. That purpose? Death to self, of course!

To respond directly to the first part of my friend's statement, also, is the other of my purposes in sharing it here. I've already responded to my friend, so I share it generally because I think it is something important and valuable. I hope you do, too!

So, my friend couldn't see living AC-free out of choice, unless there was something spiritual to be gained from it. I say to that: Everything temporal IS spiritual. So, every act of self-denial (death to self) is an act of directly and with specific effort giving control directly to our Spirit. Each act of purposefully dying to self is a way of putting the Spirit more fully in control of the body and making the Soul (combination of Spirit and Body) a more holy unit. I think that this fruit (the result of death to self) is, at least in part, why I feel so compelled to do many of the things I've felt we must (my family and I) do that others think I'm just nuts for even considering... much less DOing.

Death to self. What IS that, anyway? I've been aware that I'm on this amazing journey for the past few years and, perhaps, more especially in the last 20 months or so... Part of what I'm learning (that I'm sure you already know!) is that death to self is more about giving up something, hopefully permanently if the Lord sees fit that it should be permanent, that I like/want/feel I need so that I am able to be more fully of service and to more fully accomplish the Lord's purposes in/for me. As in the AC-free thing... I want to feel cool and super comfy in the hot humid summer. But as I struggle to be nice when I feel uncomfy (by the way, I fail at this miserably most of the time... BUT in failure is proof of effort!) I feel my Spirit growing stronger and more able to be REALLY in control when I AM totally comfy. Ya know?

Chocolate is another death-to-self thing that there has even been someone in a leadership position who has tried to counsel me, in a totally unofficial and INdirect manner, that I'm doing the wrong thing. Seriously? I mean, I'm certain that there isn't a body out there who has sincerely prayed about whether the Gollihughs should be eating chocolate or not... so there aint any of those bodies who should be counseling us about it! But anyway... sorry for that rant.

Reducing electric consumption is another.

Homeschooling is another.

Please keep in mind that each of these choices has NUMEROUS qualifiers. There are tremendous lists of reasons why we do what we do (generally). The most important being that we have determined it is the Lord's Will for us and our family, but there are other things on the "list" that even unbelievers would see are purposeful, logical, and reasonable. They are here also because as I learn more about "death to self" I see how Father has been using SO much in my life to create opportunities for self denial! What a gift, right!?? :)

How do you see death to self alive in your life? I'd love to hear about it!

1 comment:

vicki said...

I had wanted to respond last night when I 1st read this. It is deep and my weary body and brain just could not go to that depth. I feel the same tonight, but did go get the quote i wanted to share. The quote is something I heard on the radio and immediately wrote down. It does not go EXACTLy where your train of thought goes, but there is a correlation.
My weary brain is not going to venture to explain. Maybe another day.
"Inner strength is a muscle you build by not giving in to your urges."
Dr Laura said it/says it on her radio show.

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