Wednesday, May 7, 2008

EGO = Edging God Out

I heard this phrase yesterday for the first time, and it has stuck with me - EGO = Edging God Out.

There are many times in all of our lives when we think we know best - we think we have the one and only answer - we think we know the right direction to go. And quite often, this really is our ego getting in the way. As humans we often want to be right, because it avoids embarassment and having to say we were wrong. And yes, I am as guilty as that as anyone.

I told this story in a sermon a couple of years ago, but it illustrates the point well.

It was my first Sunday at my first call, and one of the teenage girls walked up to me and said, "We are going on a trip in the summer. Everything is planned, and you are coming with us." What else could I say but, okay, what are we doing. The plan was to go to Glacier National Park, go whitewater rafting, and then head to an Indian Reservation to paint a church and teach VBS

It was a long drive, the kids got rowdy, and soon the teasing began. After first pit stop, the cars divided up by gender, the girls in two cars, boys in the other two. Well, we made it to Glacier and had a lot of fun rafting. When we finished on the water, we started to head to my friend’s church that we were staying at for the night. We stopped for gas, and I did something I shouldn’t have.

One of the ladies driving a van full of girls asked me - Do you want a map?

I turned to her, and in my most defiant voice said - I don’t need a map, I am man, I know where I am going.


So we started out, and yes, I made a wrong turn. I even knew it was a wrong turn about five miles down the road, but did I admit it, NO! EGO

I kept going, hoping that there would be a turn somewhere I could take to get back on the right road. Plus, the boys in my car said – you can’t let the women see you were wrong.

We would up in the middle a cow pasture.

So, I turned around and started down another road. Then, here comes the girls lead van. As it passes by I notice there is a note in window. It said - We are women, we have a map, follow us!

Ego - it gets in the way sometimes, and when it does, we get lost and need that guidance to get back on the right path. It is not always easy to ask for help, but we need to because we are not perfect, we do make mistakes, and we need others to support, care for, and guide us at times.

May all of us have the courage to ask for help when we need it, and may our ego's take a backseat to God's will for us.

1 comment:

Betty Dygart said...

Revelation 1:7
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."

Yes, it's a balancing act, determining when to go with what your ego is telling you, and when to allow yourself to be led. I often find myself growing impatient with those who cannot seem to "make up their minds," instead, I push forward, and in so doing, force MY will upon theirs. Sometimes it works out, but sometimes it doesn't, and I have been left to feel that perhaps I should have listened more.

"Eating crow," they call it. When you have to admit that you were wrong, that maybe someone else really did know better.

While this is not pleasant, it can be good, to be humbled in this way, reminded that you are not the Alpha and Omega, but God is.

I read a story about a mother out for a walk with her 4-year-old little girl. They saw an airplane above, skywriting. When the words began disappearing, the little girl asked, "Where do the words go?"

The mother struggled for an explanation, but before she could think of one, the little girl's face brightened and she said, "I know! Maybe Jesus has an eraser!"

An eraser, yes, that is what Jesus has all right. And it better be an awfully BIG one, if He is to take care of all the mistakes I have made. It is humbling to realize that no matter how many times our EGOs get in the way, Jesus is there to use his giant eraser.

Today, I thank Jesus for dying on the cross, erasing my sins, and being the Alpha and Omega. It takes an awesome burden from my shoulders.