Carry Me, I’m just a dead man lying on the carpet, can’t find a heart beat;
Make me breathe, I want to be a new man, tired of the old one, out with the old plan…
(Jars of Clay)
I’ve been living as an old creation this week.Dredging up old habits, old ways of thinking, of acting, of reacting.I’ve been yelling more.I’ve been despairing more.I’ve been mumbling under my breath more.That’s old man stuff for me.Old creation.Old Beth.
The thing is…I know that what comes out of the mouth is a testament to what’s being stored up in the heart, and that scares the living daylights out of me.
I also know that I do what I don’t want to do and I don’t do what I want to do. This has been my MO.
I know better.I really do.And yet I can’t seem to rise above my circumstances.I can’t seem to act in a way that shows maturity, that shows that I love Jesus more than myself, that shows that I’m almost forty, that shows that I know better.
If we all have a shadow side – the part of us that we hope no one ever really catches a glimpse of – then mine has been riding shotgun for several days now. More to the point, it’s kicked me to the curb and taken off behind the wheel.
I don’t even recognize myself in some of the things I’m thinking and saying…or in how I’m thinking and saying these things.My darkness is showing and I can’t seem to stuff it back down.
So what can I do?I can only do what I know to do (you only know what you know) and that is I’m asking Jesus to take out the yuck and, somehow, fill it up with his goodness.I even asked him this morning, “Is that even possible?Do You do that?”
Colossians 1, in the Message, says that “the mystery, in a nutshell, is this – Christ is in you.” So I asked Jesus to show me evidence of that, because right now, I’d be hard-pressed to say that’s true just by looking at me.
And yet, maybe that’s what Good Friday – Jesus taking on my dark side – and Resurrection Sunday – Jesus coming back to life for me in newness and wholeness – are really all about.