For days a storm cloud had been creeping into my mind. From where and why I was unsure, but with the effects of barometric pressure-like changes in my behavior, I finally had to pay attention. What was going on with me anyway? Why the glum? Something was disrupting my peace. It was not pretty, this stormy weather. “Take cover!” my dear husband said nonverbally, retreating to his office.
Somewhere I read that being overly inward-focused is a personal liability. Perhaps I have too great a dose of this, yet as I wrestle with those internal things that threaten my peace and demeanor towards others, in I go to dig in the glum.
Thankfully Julia Cameron has addressed this normal abnormality in her book The Artists Way regarding the experiences artists may have in how their feelings are effected by the response, or not, of the world to their work, and to the works of others. That propensity to comparison that plagues humanity. And there it was, the root of my storm: the green-eyes of jealousy looking at me, or me looking through them. As I had been rejoicing with loved ones on their glorious achievements recently, poor old me was glumming deep inside. What a disturbing surprise. How old am I?
As I looked more closely at the ugly view within I saw remnants of other storm damage from the past. Storms of insecurity, not being good enough, or as good as. One would think after a lifetime these wounds would just heal and go away. Am I gazing on them too much? Why do they keep popping up like weird prehistoric creatures rising from the deep, ones that were thought to be extinct, yet still flipping their tails at me? Rather than just burying those monsters again, I would rather vaporize them forever! That would solve the problem!
Happily, there is real help available! And so I take my glum and run to my LORD Jesus to confess to Him, again, this glummy sin. I see this problem as “sin” (anything causing me to worship something or someone other than God) because it stems from my want to be glorified. That borders a bit on the desire to be worshipped, satan’s downfall and the root of the struggle of who is on the throne of my life: my self or the LORD. So here I stand before the LORD to confess this conundrum in my brain and heart. “LORD, please cleanse me from jealousy. But deeper still from those ridiculous hurts that just refuse to heal. From ongoing thinking that I must have my life and efforts found praiseworthy. Let me enjoy my accomplishments in a balanced way, and realize my value as a person does not rest in how I glorify “me,” but comes from who You say I am – “beloved!” Banish the minions that diminish and steal my joy. Help me to do my part in living healthfully and well, and keep my mind and eyes focused on You as I rejoice in the accomplishments of others. May You be glorified! For You, LORD, are the One from Whom all blessings flow, all giftedness is received. Thank You, LORD, for Your mercy and grace!”
In Jesus’ name, Amen.