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Friday, July 18, 2003

Wish for the Brightest Star

Songs I've heard a hundred times sometimes "catch me funny"...Bill Mallonee (AKA, Vigilantes of Love) writes songs that continue to evolve for me, long after I've decided "what they mean"...there's a line burried in Crescent Moon off of his solo album, Fetal Position, that struck me this morning...

Life is coming to grips with what you are worth
When God says one thing, and your heart says another
If you wished for the brightest star...
...would you consider the crescent moon?

The chorus regarding the brightest star (what every woman hopes for in a mate) and the crescent moon (which is, at best, a sliver of reflected light from that bright star) which most of us men truely are has been obvious to me from the first listen to this song...but the line before it, which is really much more blunt and obvious, registered with me this morning.

Self-worth is a great lie of Satan. And we are vulnerable from both directions on this one. It's easy to de-value yourself, when God has promised us full brotherhood in His Son. And, it is equally tempting to over-value our ability and power, clinging to the idea that we are good enough, powerful enough, to save ourselves. An inflated, god-like sense of self is an obvious sin, but the greater power may be in the under-valued self. The person who never reaches potential because they don't value their individuality enough to push beyond the mundane and ordinary.

The great mystery is how both of these things can be true. How can I be the most valuable of Creation, yet be utterly unable to redeem myself. One of the things my recent spiritual journey has taught me is that this hinges on how I view these mysteries. If I grab hold of my salvation in Christ, in a head-strong "now I know I'm saved" kind of way, what I'm really doing is grabbing hold of MY ability to find redemption. The reality is, I have to view my position as a Son of God, a brother of the Son, Son of the Father, from the perspective that acknowledges my need for redemption, and confirms that redemption is unattainable by me personally. I can't be good enough. Sinless enough. God-centered enough. A perfect God can only recognize perfection, unless there is a bridge...someone/something to fill the chasm that seperates my failings from perfection.

That bridge itself must be flawless. That bridge is not something I can build or attain strictly on my own.

There is a Royal quality to being a Son of God. There is, in fact, a security, a power, a sense of self that says "you are worth more than that drug/lust/hatred...and you aren't living up to your heritage when you give in to those things". There IS an aspect of communion with God that pulls the weak, the hungry, the perverted, the deprived, the helpless up toward the gloriousness that we were intended for. And yet, it has to be consistently remembered that the inheritance of any glorious aspect of ourself is a gift. It is freely given, and given in order to be used and enjoyed, but it is a GIFT nonetheless.

A true gift, isn't something you can earn, or even something you deserve. A true gift is offered regardless of merit. And something you have to accept in order for it to actually be given.

God, grant me the grace to receive your gifts. Grant me the self-appreciation to recognize my Creation by You, and the ability to honor that through an ever more Godly life.

Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.
Lord, I have faith. Help my faithlessness.
Lord, I hope in you. Help me when I'm hopeless.
Lord, I love. Purge my unloving attitudes.
Lord, Forgive me. Correct me when I'm unforgiving.


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