Love does not have an inflated opinion of self-importance

by Craig on November 27, 2010

This love – or NOT love – presents itself in the small ways.

Being a pop star and having clippings to read about how important I am – that would be a big way. Having tons of money and power to control, and by which to control, that would a big way.

But money, not an issue with me. Fame? Well, Laska the love kitty knows who I am – and I clean his litter box. That’s not an issue either.

It comes in the little things.

I noticed it once in two conversations.

Two toddlers in a sandbox. Two moms hovering nearby in conversation. Each glancing at both of the children, in turns, like choreography. They exchange words, they share the same space, they touch, and confirm, and listen. Their children also share the same space. They touch – mostly when it’s “MINE!”.  They confirm – mostly when it’s “MINE!” They listen – but to themselves, and other things, invisible things – but not to each other – except when it’s “MINE!”.

Even I could see this contrast. Two inflated opinions for which the universe consists of one gravitational being, surrounded by orbiting things. And two equals, sharing stories, laughing, getting laughed at, knowing, being known.

I’m see too much of myself  – in the sandbox – where my conversations only look like conversations. This “not” love gets displayed when I try to show I have all the answers. It’s exposed when I talk too much and don’t listen.

Or when I listen, and don’t listen.

Or when I have to have the last word in a “discussion”.

This “not” love is reflected in how many times I say “I”. There really is no I in love. I know there’s no U either – don’t think I didn’t hear you think that.

The truth of this love, is in the balance.

Neither being too inflated nor deflated.

The truth is in a tree that fell on a mountaintop,

overlooking  Albuquerque New Mexico.

It was a clear day, 60 degrees at the bottom, 30 degrees at the top of Sandia Peak.

One side was all rocks, staring down at  desert city,

the other was pine trees lining a ski slope with no snow.

There was nothing but hush all around. To the left I noticed a fallen tree, broken at the base, tumbled to the ground.  It was freshly fallen, the sap still in it, still piney smelling.

One insignificant tree, out of so many.  No one saw it fall, no one cared, all it affected was what it touched on the way down and what was living in and off of it directly.  The world, or in this case, the forest didn’t blink an eye, and wouldn’t skip a beat.

God knew, and cared, and only him, and now me too.  And it hit me. If I were to fall tomorrow, one insignificant person, out of so many.  Most likely no one would see me fall, not many would care, all that would be affected would be who I  touched on the way down and  who was living in and with me, directly.  The forest, and in this case, the world wouldn’t blink an eye and wouldn’t skip a beat.  But our God would know.

An inflated opinion? Really now? In the world – I am totally insignificant – no matter how significant I may think I am.  But in the eyes of God, I am most significant, yet no more significant than anyone else, because all are the apple of his eye.

I took a sliver of wood from the fallen tree that day. It happened 18 years ago. I remember that tree – and what it taught me about the balance of worth, and the balance of self opinion, and the balance of love.

There it is, just a splinter, from a tree on a mountain, a lesson on significance and insignificance. And to the right, a paw. It’s the paw of Laska the love kitty – a cat with an inflated opinion of himself.  See what happens if we get this love wrong.  You try to make a beautiful picture lesson, and the cat with ego, sticks his paw in.

Today I won’t go waving my paws around. I’ll be careful with the use of “I”. But that’s after I use it a bunch here. I’ll let others be right. I’ll thank God, that he cares for sparrows, and trees, and you, and me, and egotistical cats. Today I’ll make sure my opinion baloon is filled – just so.

I’ll be watching my actions. You won’t be able to see them. So maybe you’ll join me this day, and watch the actions of someone else. Someone who reads this. Someone I can’t see.

In God’s love,

me (and the cat with the paw)

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymuss November 27, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Craig, this reminds me of a conversation with a friend several days ago. I expressed that the more I learn about how broken I am the more I feel I need to hole up in a spiritual ICU somewhere. She laughed and said, “You mean ‘ICMe'”. How true it is…like the children in the sandbox…mining the ‘MINE’ for all its worth, and its not worth much. thank you for this ‘pulling up of the reins’! The pictures of the mountain, the splinter, and your words create again such a powerful impression. one of your gifts!

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Craig November 27, 2010 at 5:46 pm

ICMe made me laugh out loud.

Thank you A.

you always add.
you always bring a smile.
and your words encourage me to keep writing.

God Bless

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Debbie November 28, 2010 at 3:08 am

Thank you for the lesson. I love that you kept a splinter of that tree, of how God spoke that to you in that moment. Once when I was struggling with being misunderstood, He spoke to me and told me there wasn’t anything wrong with wanting to be understood. Just that it would help others more to understand about Him instead of me. That really helped me and put things back into perspective!
God bless you and your love kitty!

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Melissa Brotherton November 28, 2010 at 6:36 pm

What a great lesson there is here! And I too love that you kept a splinter of that tree. :) Thanks for sharing this Craig.

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Linda Kruschke November 29, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Craig, Finally figured out I have Firefox on my computer at work (in addition to IE) so now I can read your blog! This was a good post. The toddlers in the sandbox are a perfect illustration of our sinful nature, our “me” and “mine” inclinations. It is when we ask God to replace our “self” with His Love, a divine love that does not consider self, that our hearts are changed and I find myself more concerned with you than me. Peace and Merry Christmas, Linda

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Melissa November 29, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I love reading your life parables. God smiles here. I do too. Blessings.

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