“Yet not what I will, but what You will.” Mark 14:36
Contemplation: First of all, our proud self must be broken. Our own self must give up its rights. Our self is hard. It does not want to obey God. It likes to show that it is right. The self must bow to God’s will. It must confess that it is wrong. It must give up its own way. It must give up all its glory. Only in this way can the Lord Jesus have all and be all in our lives. We must die to self.
We look to Christ, who did not give himself to the approval of men, but entrusted himself to the Father.
During Lent, we are trying to make room in our lives for God to shed some light. God will shed light into the dark corners, but that kind of light can only be received with humility. Hession puts it this way: “The man who knows, day by day, the meaning of brokenness is the man who humbly agrees to what God shows him about himself.”
Well, if the purpose of this sabbatical was to refresh my relationship with God and break my Proud Little Self, there was no better plan of action that to return to the middle school classroom. God bless middle school teachers.
Self must obey God to love these little ones… and not to quote a coworker, “punch them in their little faces.” Self is challenged and questioned and threatened at every turn. Self must kneel gently by the side of yet another slightly trembling child shaking his head in front of a blank sheet of paper. Self points out to Self a continuous stream of not-quite-right responses to the flood of decisions that must be made minute after minute, hour after hour of shifting and readjusting even the most simple of lesson plans. And something else, not a single student smiled, “Thank you, Mrs. Voelkel,” as she made her way out the door. I am actually quite sure that not a single one of those 150 backpack bound bodies remembers what my name is.
And Hard Self will soften in the foundries of hurting confused overwhelmed lost angry lonely rejected failing frustrated thirteen-year-olds.
Oh yes, my eyes will be fixed on Christ.
Yes, Lord, shed light in my dark corners.
I trust my Self into your tender hands, to be broken and offered up to the multitudes. That they might be filled.