There I was. Standing on the sidewalk with grandtoddler on my hip and my bum knee throbbing a "you'll never do that" throb, as cute, fit woman after cute, fit woman (some of them apparently MY age) crossed the Finish Line. Every pointing, condemning, accusing finger on the planet was pointed at me. THEY were doing it right. THEY had discipline, toughness, perseverance. I, on the other hand, was lazy. An old, flabby, out-of-shape, lazy dud.
I know this sounds crazy to some. But it is what it is. I regularly battle to retrieve my sense of value from the grips of beauty or competence or fitness or toughness. Anything...ANYTHING other than who I am in my heart, in my being, in my soul, tends to define who I am.
As time progressed that morning, my dissatisfaction with who I am physically progressed to who I am emotionally, mentally, spiritually. What pathetic, self-centered being I must be to cloud the joy of my daughter's first half marathon with my own pathetic insecurities. Oh! The guilt!
Fast forward a few hours later. I was at home, eating lunch on the deck and trying desperately to keep the hounds from lapping up my yogurt and berries (it is an actual skill, this Doggie Interference Jig is) and I decided to dig deep.
I had just forked over the bucks for Paul Tripp's new book, New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional. The first sentence for June 6 was this: "Every human being places his hope in something, and every human being asks that hope to deliver something. Where have you placed your hope?"
I am not kidding. Like an iron skillet up the side of the head or a dip in Lake Supeior in May. BAM! Where is my hope?
Am I really hoping in my physical toughness to give me of value? What am I thinking? Be it physical toughness, brains, beauty, competence, a way with words, excellent parenting skills....whatever. From an eternal perspective, that is freakin' ridiculous.
Just to drive the point home, God ended this particular daily reading with these convicting, haunting words:
If your hope disappoints you, it's because it's the wrong hope.And my hope has disappointed me so much these past few....um....51 years.
This all necessitates a complete paradigm change. One that transfers my hope from WHO I AM to WHO HE IS. From the CREATED to the CREATOR.
It may take a while for this old dog, this old, graying, tired, slightly flabby, doofus-esque, emotionally tender dog to learn some new tricks but I pray that God will continue to focus my mind and my heart on the source of real hope. A hope that that will never disappoint.