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Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553): Adam and ...

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I just spent the last few days out of town. I love to travel, but mostly when I travel, I travel out of the country, but this time it was only to a different state. Nothing exciting, just 3 hours away from my home. But this trip seemed at times to be a thousands miles way. Not sure why, but I think it was because I had a lot on my mind, and in a way I was thousands of miles away, not from home but from…. What I am not sure, it was/is just a feeling, and small feeling that seems to rest just on the inside of the door to my soul.

The small feeling, the one that is just on the inside of my soul most likely has been their for sometime. But the three hour car ride gave me time to reflect, time to open the door to my soul and seeing that small feeling just sitting there, waiting for me to open the door and find it. And I did, I found this small feeling, it was just sitting there, like it had been waiting for  months and years to be found. It wasn’t a new feeling, one that I have never had, rather it was an old feeling, one that I have walked around and stepped over for year and years. The dust and cobwebs that covered it were thick with pride. A pride that I have known for years, a pride that was and is eating away at this small feeling that was just on the inside of the door to my soul.

Pride, one of the seven capitol sins, and in many ways the root of all sin. It was pride that made Eve take that first bite, and pride that made Adam follow her in to sin. The proof of this, after they ate the fruit of the tree, they discovered they were naked. Their pride took over and they were now, for the first time, concerned at how they looked. Adam and Eve are the parents of pride, parents of the first sin.

Pride has kept me from seeing this small feeling just on the inside of the door to my soul, it cover it in a thick dust that hid it from my eyes, but that is what pride does, it hides the truth from you. We see this is our lives all the time, just like pride hid from Adam and Eve the beauty of their creation, pride has hidden from me this small feeling.

But the three hour drive gave me an insight, it gave me time to start to blow the dust and cobwebs off this small feeling, the one that was just on the inside of the door to my soul. I used the total of six hours to listen to some solidly Catholic talks on CD. Just before I left for my trip I selected a few talks on CD for my ride, you see I belong to the CD of the month club offered by Lighthouse media, a Catholic non-for-profit company that produces and distributes Catholic talks, and each month I get a new CD in the mail. Normally I would have listen to them as soon as I got them, but for the longest time I did not have a CD player in my car, and trying to listen to them at home, well lets just say that don’t work out to well. So I have a few un-listened to CD’s sitting around, so I gathered them up and placed them in my car.

A few days before I was to take this trip I decided I would break down and get a new stereo put in my car, one with a CD player. I just couldn’t deal with the drive with out some music or talk radio or something to help keep me company along the way. So with my talks on CD and a few select music CD’s I was ready for my trip. The funning thing is, I listened to only the talks, the the talks, well, they were perfect, I listened to all the talks I had, and when I pulled in the drive way at home, the last CD was played and I was listening to my Liberal CD. The timing was almost perfect, and it would have been if it were not for construction on the expressway.

God is good, He is good indeed!

The fact that the timing was almost perfect was not accident, it was divine.  Not only did the talks last as long as my drive time, but in a way each talk was talking about me, each talk was sending me, personally, a message. The titles of each talk were different, and the presenters were diverse, from priest to converts to new seminarians’.  But each talk was just perfect for what I  needed to hear. Each talk was given to me personally, it was like they wrote the talk just for me and just for this car ride.

God is good, He is good indeed!

The talks all had the same basic theme to them, pride and how pride is evil and how it tears you away from God and the life of perfection, how pride can and is slowly killing you, Non of the talks came out and said this, but this is what i heard. And more importantly it is what I needed to hear.

That small feeling, the one that is just on the inside of the door to my soul. The one I have been steeping over and moving around for years, that small feeling was dying, it was being eaten away by pride and if I didn’t do something soon it would be dead and nothing short of a miracle would bring it back to life. And the talks on the CD’s, well in a way they were the voice of God speaking to me and God was telling me “It is time to dust off the small feeling and to let it see the light of the I AM, to see the light of God”.

What a powerful message, one that will require a powerful conversion on my part. And one that I am not sure I am up to, but I will trust in the Lord and I will start to dust it off and see what lies under all the dust and cobwebs of pride. I will start the process of cleaning out my soul, to open the door up and let the wind of the Holy Spirit refresh and cleans my soul. I will allow the light of God to fill it, to illuminate it and to fill it with the warmth of Gods love. I will clear the way, and make a path for Jesus to enter in to my soul and to dwell there in a welcoming and comfortable environment.

So what is this small feeling, what is covered up with the dust and cobwebs of pride, it is forgiveness.   And how do I clear out the dust and cobwebs, by forgiveing, by placing aside my pride and forgiving. I have to learn to humble myself and forgive thouse who have hurt me and learn to forgive myself. This is going to be a long process, one that I am sure I will fail at several times, but than again there is a lot of dust the clear away ans the cobwebs can tangel me up. But with the grace of God and the prayers of others, I know I can do it.

God is good, He is good indeed!

God Bless

Paul

The Seven Capital Sins
1 Corinthians 1:18“[Christ the Wisdom and Power of God] For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

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Pride is a very strong emotion, one that has driven people to extremes. We have witnessed the pride of a man (or a woman) bring them down in a blaze of fire, and we have seen pride rebuild a man (or a woman) from the deepest despair life can offer.

Why is this, what makes one emotions so powerful and at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

This I can not answer, but I can offer my own insights on the topic. Anyone who reads my blogs an a regular basis will know that I often times return to the subject of EGO (Edging God Out), well I think Pride has a small place in EGO.

The pride that causes harm, pride that drives a man to extremes is a pride that is unhealthy.

To have pride in your work, in your life and in yourself and family is a very healthy, and necessary thing. It is when that pride overrides all, when that pride becomes the end all to all that is when it enters the EGO, that is when it becomes a destructive force, not only in your life but all around you.

When we feel that what we do is more important that others, or when we think that our actions are defining moments, when we place ourselves at the very center of life, the EGO has began its destruction.

How do we know when pride becomes EGO, were is that line? I think we all have a different thresh hold, but I also think we all know, internally, were it is.

For me, EGO is the evil part of my being, it is the original sin of Adam and Eve, it was there EGO’s that told them to eat of the fruit, to want to become god’s themselves. Pride, the feeling of being more than they were.

We need to be proud, we need that feeling and that emotion, but we need to control it, and not allow it to take over, when it takes over, that is when pride becomes EGO, a destructive force.

I am very proud of a the volume of work I have created, the programs I have developed but I am also very aware that there is always something more, something better out there, that what I have created is good, maybe even great, and I take great pride in the work, but I know I am only one of many. I will not allow my EGO to take hold of it, I do not, for one minute, think that what I have created is anything more than what it is.

Pride and EGO often times share the same fine line. It is easy to step on way or the other, Pride becoming EGO and EGO becoming pride. Careful where you step, look and see were you are headed and say on the side of pride.

Paul

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Why do we quest for betterment of our selves, what makes us want to be new and improved? I believe it is part of our makeup our DNA.

 

We really don’t have much of a choice, we are created to be the best “self” we can be. Yet some choose to suppress this tendency, or to mask it with sex, drugs and other addictions, but in the end, the quest for a better self is still there.

 

Self Help is nothing new, it has been part of the human life from the very beginning. To use the story of Adam and Eve from the book of Genesis, Eve was told that if she ate of the fruit from the tree of knowledge, she would be a better self, she would be like God.

 

What we have here is the story of the first self help seminar, all-be-it a bad one, but it was the first one. And Eve bought in to it; she wanted to be the best Eve she could be, as did Adam, who also ate of the fruit.

 

If it was not for our quest for betterment, we would still be living in caves, drawing on rock, and pulling woman around by there hair. Self Help is just another word or phrase for seeking the truth; we are all looking for the true self, the authentic self, the one that God created, but because of our fallen nature, we have lost.

 

The problem is, like Adam and Eve; we all want the easy way to the new and improved self. We all want the magic pill, or the book to read that will transform us over night in to the new and improved self. But as we have learned, from the lesson of Adam and Eve, that is not the best way to go about it.

 

It has taken the human race millions of years, just to get to this point, and look around you, in some ways we are still cavemen pulling our woman around by the hair. Change is a slow process, one that takes time, there is not over night change, there is no magic pill we can take.

 

But what we do have is time, not lots of it, but we do have it. As a collective of humans, we will change only when we as individuals change. Each of us is part of the over all change in humanity, and that change comes slow, but it does come. The problem is that we like over night success stories. Why do you think shows like American Idol so popular, we like to see people become the best self they can in a few easy steps.

 

Once again I refer you back to Adam and Eve, and remind you that it don’t work that way. Even on American Idol it is not overnight nor is it easy. But the producers of the show make it seem that way. Why? Because it sells to our basic instinct of the best self we all want to be.

 

Change is not easy, and it’s not quick. But it is attainable. Once again lets look back to a bible story, not Adam and Eve this time, but lets look at Jesus, the son of God, and the son of the human Mary.

 

Jesus was born a human, just like you and me. And as a human, he had all the makings of a human; he was in just like us in all ways except sin. But Jesus as a child was not the Jesus we read about in the Gospels. In-fact the bible tells us so; it states that Jesus grew in to his knowledge and understanding. That is a very human act. It took Jesus 30 years to start his ministry. Jesus even grew during his 3 year ministry; once again the bible tells us so, but you will have to read it for yourself, I don’t want to spoil the plot for you. The jest of the story was Jesus did not think at first he came to save anyone except the Jews, but then he grew and changed his point of view.

 

We all are on a path to become the best self we can be, and like Adam and Eve, sometimes we will fail, and like Jesus we will grow in to our self, slowly and even when we think we are new and improved, we will continue to grow even more.

 

So really, we are all a bit like Adam and Eve, and a bit like Jesus. We sometimes fail and we sometimes succeed. But in the end, we all are seeking the true self, the one that we where created to be.

 

Paul

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