Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Surviving The Fall

I'm a self starter, I work hard and I try to please those around me. Life started good, thought I was going to be great. Wanted to do great things and change the world. Things were good, but then it changed. I disappointed people, I struggled in places and was wounded. Rejection. It hurt and so I protected myself. I had failure in school, struggled with spelling and handwriting and math. I just stopped trying to coasted by as an average student. I was teased and bullied, so I pulled away and hid. I stopped caring and I found places I couldn't fail. Sometimes I still failed. I hid and I ran away. Many hours alone in my room, listening to music and hiding in make believe because I was broken. People were not impressed.

As I got older, I found it harder to hide and easier to fail. I started dating and found more rejection. The girl I liked didn't always like me. Sometimes it didn't work and sometimes they said hurtful things I couldn't deny. I tried new things and often failed and was rejected. The bullying stopped or at least changed forms. Still rejection. There was still places I didn't measure up. Grew into an adult, finished school and started working. Found lots of failure and disappointments. I sucked it up pretended to be strong and act like it didn't bother me. Inside I was hurt, but it's not ok to be hurt. I am suppose to be strong and trust God and be ok. I wasn't ok. I found my dream job, the place I wanted to be, but I wasn't good enough, I was rejected. I was wounded but I pretended to be ok.

I found myself in a depression. I don't know how it happened, but there I was. It was like being in the dark, and being lost and falling into a pit. The pit is wide and there is lots of room, so I decide I'm going to do some work while I'm in the pit, after all you have to stay busy. If I do well, if I work hard and do the right things, maybe someone will notice. Maybe they will accept me. I need to work hard and do great things, I don't want to disappoint. I have to find a ministry, so I take up some tools. I grab the shovel and pick and spade of ego and self sufficiency. I dig a hole and I plant a seed called pride, I water it with good intentions and fertilize with compromise. The tree grows quicker than I thought it would, but it doesn't look right. It grows in the gloom and it looks sick. The leaves are a mixture of green and brown and yellow. The truck and branches are twisted and scrawny, and it seeps a yellow sap. There seems to be some flowers, but they are not pretty, they are dull and have a mixture of a sweet and sickening smell. The trunk twists in browns and grays with a scaly looking bark. The branches resembled snakes as they swayed and rocks, even though there is no wind. The roots are shallow, but the tree seems to cling tightly to the ground.

I look at the tree and there is a single piece of fruit growing from the branch that seems to extend towards me. The fruit looks ok, in fact it looks good. It's tempting. I reach for it, it's covered in a sticky coating that smells sweet. I take the fruit and look it over, it looks pleasing to the eye, maybe it will help me be wise. It's a bad tree, but maybe it will bear some good fruit. I take a bite. The fruit is sweet in my mouth, but bitter in the stomach. Another bite and another. I feel sick. This was a bad idea. I go to drop the fruit, but I can't. It's stuck.

Holding the fruit I notice I can't move. I'm stuck and this sticky substance is now all over me. I can't take a step, I can't drop the fruit and I realize I've made a huge mistake. My pride, my ego and my self effort have led me to this place that I'm now covered in sin. I don't feel so good, I sit down, now stuck where I sit. All I can hear in the echo of the judgment and rejection echoing in my ear. How I wasn't good enough, how I wasn't smart enough. I couldn't do it, I couldn't be good enough. When I tried to do it on my own power, I ended up here. Stuck, and now the words aren't coming from others, they are coming from myself. I'm an idiot, I knew better.

I look at the sick, bad tree. It seems to be sneering at me. The pride in my heart is now covering me and the sap is dripping on me. It no longer smells sweet, but now rotten. Soon everyone will see me and they will know what a failure I am. I realize what's happened and my desire to be great has led me right into the hands of the enemy, he has me. Pits litter the landscape, deformed, twisted trees growing bitter fruit are common. In this dank, musty and dark landscape, we are trapped, so many are caught in the snare. The fruit looks different for everyone, but the sticky covering is the same. The sap is the same. The cost is the same.

I look over an I see a water hose, it's called grace. I struggle against the sap to the hose, and find a soap called repentance. I find myself covered in the soap and rinsed with the water. Next to it is a ax called humility. I take the ax and take a swipe at the tree. It falls effortlessly, because it's not my work but God's work that fell the tree. It melts into the dank earth. I'm still in the pit, but I have hope. The darkness is not so dark and the mist clears some. I have hope that one day, with the ladder of prayer and the help and support of others, I'll get out of the pit.

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