Saturday, September 13, 2008

Give me your eyes

This week has been an interesting one. A lot has gone on. I'm exhausted, but I think it's a good exhausted. For the past few weeks, I have really been struggling with a few things. Part of my struggle is at school, trying to figure out how to be a good teacher and how to best relate to each of my students and how to best manage my classroom. I struggle with this. I have an all or nothing personality, and finding balance has been a struggle. I know that isn't totally clear. I haven't quite figured out how to verbalize it properly.

I feel like often it's too easy for me to run between extremes--to give in and give my students what they want because they give me a sob story or to be a complete stickler and not listen to any excuses, valid or not. It's hard for me to know who to trust.

But that's not been the total struggle. The struggle is really more internal. I have been struggling with my varying levels of compassion for people. I have been struggling with my own selfish heart. And mostly, just struggling with what I see going on in the world around me.

Andy had some really eye-opening, and just heart-breaking experiences with a few different people this week, and he told me that he felt like he had just experienced his first real day, where he had really seen what the world looked like.

As I started to think more and more about that, I had a serious revelation.

This week, I saw a car accident happen in a split second, as I sat just feet away with a dear friend, her mom and her two little boys in her front yard.
This week, I heard a story of anger and rage in someone who is far too young for these emotions that broke my heart.
This week, I saw someone who had been in a fight a week earlier who was missing a part of his ear. It had been stitched shut.
This week, I heard the explicit-laden screams of a student who had just had it coming from my classroom as I stood less than ten feet away.
Every day, I watch people throwing their lives at things of this world, things that will only bring heartache and pain.
Even the news, each and every day, is filled with something terrible. Right now, every news station is covering Hurricane Ike and the destruction it is causing in Texas. Some days, though, especially right now, it's the mean words and dissension between political leaders in this country. Everyone thinks that they are right, and that the other is completely wrong and terrible.

Our world is an ugly place. That wasn't really the revelation. The revelation hit me as I was reading this passage for probably the hundredth time in my life:

"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but you don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
James 4:1-4

There are fights and quarrels at every turn. I have disagreements with my husband on a regular basis. Sometimes they are minor, but they are still quarrels. And they still stem from my desire to be right living in opposition to his desire to be right. Almost every bit of that heartache and pain I mentioned before is completely related to this passage (not the hurricane or the car accident). But the anger, the rage, the fighting, the hatred--those all stem from people wanting something they cannot have. Or should not have. People everywhere, myself absolutely included, are searching for their significance, for their very happiness in things that will only steal and kill and lead to death. I think it's something I have always known, it's just vibrantly clear to me right now.

And so, for now, I am praying for the strength to leave these idols behind in my own life. And for the wisdom to know how to pray for and care for the people around me who are struggling with the same thing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes you have it right we just finished James 4 this week in bible study . Gram