Thursday, May 26, 2011

Appearances (Fear, part 4)

Perspective (Fear, part 1)
Naming my Fear (Fear, part 2)
The Eternal God (Fear, part 3)

March 13, 2011

Max: I'm just going to play this piano for a minute. [Max sits and starts playing.]
Me: Oh, do you take piano lessons?
Max: No. I'm just good.

Kids are seldom inflicted with false modesty. They have an honest appraisal of themselves and speak what they see and feel. Too often I worry about appearances. Sometimes I even wonder if I desire the appearance of a virtue more than the virtue itself.

Last year when I was given a new car, I remember a good friend of mine saying, "You are so worried that someone will think you are materialistic." I wanted to retort, "Don't you mean, 'I admire your determination to avoid the trap of materialism?" But in time, I came to realize the truth in her statement. The appearance of humility (driving an old car with no air conditioner) had become my pride. I was worried about how others would perceive me in a new car.

In a sermon at Ozark Christian College a few years ago, Professor Kenny Boles said something that has floated in my memory ever since. He said, "We don't want to be holy as much as we want to be viewed as holy." Ouch.

So how do I change my desires? How do I become childlike? How do I gather the courage to step out from behind the lobster tank?

Trust. Community. The answer seems to lie in those two words.

Though we're strangers still I love you
I love you more than your mask
And you know you have to trust this to be true
And I know that's much to ask
But lay down your fears
Come and join this feast
He has called us here
You and me

("Peace" by Rich Mullins)

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