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.