I've always wanted to be taller. At 5 foot 5, no 6, OK, five and a half inches, I'm the shortest of all my siblings, even though I'm almost the eldest. I know some people may think that's tall enough and one of my friends that is almost six feet would probably give something huge to be my height (tall girls can't find men apparently). But, I still remember when I was little and my uncles would say to me 'watch out, your sister is getting taller than you!'- as if there was anything I could do about it. And some of them would say 'eat more beans- it'll make you grow taller' and I did, even though I hated beans. It obviously didn't work, and I watched helplessly as all my siblings grew and grew and grew past me. Sigh...
Anyway, I bought some jeans today. I didn't have the chance to try them on so I took them home. Also, the store didn't have the lengths on the jeans as I would have liked, so I just went for the one I hoped would be my size- 10 Long. But then I got home and tried them on and guess what? They were too long. I really wanted them to be my size and I even considered folding the ends but it just didn't look right. I had to accept the truth that I am in fact, a size 10 Regular.
We don't like being reminded of our shortcomings do we? At the moment, I'm re-reading 'The purpose driven life' by Rick Warren and I'm on the chapter about surrender. Three things stop us from surrendering to God- fear (we don't realise how much God loves us, so we don't trust Him), pride (we want to be in control of our lives) and confusion (we misunderstand the meaning of surrender). The whole shortcomings issue falls under pride. We want to be better- smarter, prettier, slimmer, fatter, taller. We hate it when we're faced with our own shortcomings because it makes us all the more aware of our humanity. We hate it because we want to be in control of our lives. We want to be God in our lives. Yes, we want to be God.
This is how Rick puts it:
'We aren't God, and never will be. We are humans. It is when we try to be God that we end up most like Satan, who desired the same thing... We accept our humanity intellectually, but not emotionally. When faced with our own limitations, we react with irritation, anger and resentment....Then when we notice that God gave others characteristics we don't have, we react with envy, jealousy and self-pity.'
That's some deep stuff, but it is so true.
The sooner we accept our humanity (emotionally), and stop struggling with God, the sooner we surrender and stop trying to control everything in our lives, the sooner we can start living that stress-free, purpose-driven life He desires for everyone of us.
All this from a pair of jeans, I know.