Saturday, February 26, 2011

I Hate This Feeling

Here's the scenario: Someone asks you and your friends a question. Let's say it's "What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?" You are eager and proud to go first and respond, "We make popcorn on Christmas Eve night, open one present and watch It's a Wonderful Life by the Christmas tree." How sweet. So quaint. Now it's time for the next person to share. "We do something a little different. We make sandwiches and hot chocolate and drive downtown to spend Christmas day with the poor." Ugh. You know that feeling? I hate it. I have it often because I am quick to speak and slow to think and listen.

Well, I faced the dumb-answer scenario in Thailand in a very public, embarrassing way. My skin crawls even thinking about it. I feel like I need to physically shake it off!

We're getting ready to leave the orphanage in Chiang Mai and the director asks us to formally introduce ourselves to the kids at their chapel service. Up to this point we had only been playing with the kids individually and in small groups. Jenny and Susan step away from the microphone and leave me with the job. "You do it, Lauren. You're good at this kind of thing." Words we later came to regret.

I babbled on about who we were, gushed about how wonderful the kids were (I think I said "wonderful" about 10 times in two minutes) and wrapped it up with a powerful, "And I have three kids, Jack, Evelyn and Ella. Thanks so much for having us." I got so tongue tied. I didn't really know what I was saying.

Here's what happened next.

Naret, our tour guide and friend, introduced himself and began to share his story with the children. He grew up in an orphanage just like the one we were visiting. He encouraged the children to write down their dreams and chase after them. He told them about Jesus and his love for them. It was incredibly powerful. The kids were silent.

I was so moved and so mortified. Seriously, what was I thinking? Why didn't I say something like that? I hadn't even thought about it. Neither Jesus nor love nor hope nor encouragement never even entered in my mind. These kids were desperate and I came to them with, "I'm Lauren. You're great. I have three kids. Blah, blah, blah..." Ahhhh!

I can't help but laugh about it. I started laughing as soon as we walked out the door and I couldn't stop every time I thought about it. It did make for some pretty funny jokes between us! "I'm Lauren. I really like long walks on the beach, gardening, eating ..." Such a butt!

On a more serious note, it really made me think about my default setting. Why wasn't Jesus and His love and the life He offers the first thing out of my mouth? Why was it all about me? Why isn't He so real and present in me that I automatically think of Him first?

I've faced this scenario numerous times recently and always blown it. I am so self focused. It's all about me. Rarely do I jump right to Jesus or to prayer as the answer or the need.

I feel so humbled after these realizations. I'm thankful for the awareness, but unnerved by the feelings it brings.

After I shared my thoughts about the situation with everyone in the car, Jenny laughingly sang this song to me. It's spot on...
Oh Lord it's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way.
I can't wait to look in the mirror cause I get better looking each day.
To know me is to love me I must be a hell of a man.
Oh Lord it's hard to be humble but I'm doing the best that I can.
I used to have a girlfriend but she just couldn't compete
with all of these love starved women who keep clamoring at my feet.
Well I prob'ly could find me another but I guess they're all in awe of me.
Who cares, I never get lonesome cause I treasure my own company.
Oh Lord it's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way,
I can't wait to look in the mirror cause I get better looking each day
To know me is to love me I must be a hell of a man.
Oh Lord it's hard to be humble but I'm doing the best that I can.
I guess you could say I'm a loner, a cowboy outlaw tough and proud.
I could have lots of friends if I want to but then I wouldn't stand out from the crowd.
Some folks say that I'm egotistical. Hell, I don't even know what that means.
I guess it has something to do with the way that I fill out my skin tight blue jeans.

1 comment:

  1. Oh - and a few of my favorites: "It is the joy of my life to worship me.." Lauren. I am sorry to say, you are my incarnation. I think the times we have met we have done some kooky mind-meld. I could have written most of your blog posts. I am often my favorite thing in the world and I waste time with "Hey kids, aren't you cute, I live in OH-IO - can you say that??" Bleccchhhhhh... You have taught me so much and reminded me of so much truth. Thanks♥ YOU are so great :)