Pride and Arrogance. Thats what this is about.
Paul Bunyan was a guy that I once heard stories about when I was a kid. When we used to take trips to the beach, somewhere between Goldsboro and Atlantic Beach there was a car dealership or something that had a giant statue of him with his ax wielded over his shoulder. The Paul Bunyan that I grew up was guys superhuman dude with a super-sized ax, and he could chop the world down with it. I mean this dude was the real deal. The beard, the flannel, the boots, the pet ox, this guy had it going on. Nothing could stand in the way of him and his ax. Some say he made the grand canyon just by walking by and dragging his ax, some say he made a mountain by stacking rocks on his campfire to put it out. Sounds like a combination of Chuck Norris and the Dos Equis commercials to me. Point of the story is that this guy was the man.
I'm not very intelligent, I've never claimed to be. I'll be the first to tell you that my academic career is like Ryan Leaf. I have no doubt in my mind that if I put my head down in the books and studied, I could pass any class that I was in, the problem is that I just can't make myself study and put in the work. With that being said, one of the things that gets under my skin more than anything else is people that think the know everything. Those people that think they are smarter than they really are. Its like nothing you can ever say in front of them or do in front of them is right in their eyes. They always have an answer or a solution, and they always have to get in the last word. It's like the words "I don't know" don't even exist to them. There always could have been a better way, and most of the time they knew what that way was and you didn't. It drives me crazy. Sometimes I want to just scream and put my head through a wall.
I've been attending a new church the past couple of weekends. It isn't what I had hoped that I would find, but at the same time I don't dislike it, and I really like the way the word is taught there, so I will keep going. We are going through Genesis right now and one of the reoccurring themes that I've noticed jumping out of the text at me since I've been going is how when it comes to dealing with others, the things that I see in others that I don't like about them, or that 'gets under my skin,' are those same things that I see in myself that I want to deny.
I've also been reading the book of Isaiah lately for my own personal study. A friend of mine asked me the other day how it was going and I shot her point blank and said sometimes it sucks. Maybe it is because I just came off Matthew, or I just struggle with the OT, but its hard for me to read. Its hard for me to read about the God that I believe in turning his back on Israel and Judah and Assyria and punishing them. I like to think of the God of who loves his children and wants the best for them, and knows the plans he has for me to prosper, and that knew me before I was born, not the one who is striking people down for their unfaithfulness. But I do believe that God is a righteous judge also and He loves justice, so I need to get over myself.
This probably doesn't make a lot of since right now but I'm about to bring it home.
Isaiah Chapter 10, Verse 15 says this:
"But can the ax boast greater power than the person who uses it?
Is the saw greater than the person who saws?
Can a rod strike unless a hand moves it?
Can a wooden cane walk by itself?"
I love it when God uses all of the different areas in your life to line up together and confirm to me what He is trying to tell me.
I want to be Paul Bunyan. I want to be so superhuman that I can walk around with my ax on my shoulder and know that I can do anything I want to do. I want to have all the answers. I want to be in control of me. I want there to be no doubt that I can take care of myself, and that I don't need anyones help doing it. Its why it bothers me so much when people think they are never wrong, because I think that about myself. I am that person who so often thinks they always have the right answer. One of my athletes the other day did a clean and looked at me after and was like, "How was that?" I was like, "It was good." Then she was like, "Wow, normally you always have something to say that I could have done better." She was excited, I was crushed. In that moment I realized how critical I am. Its not just about weightlifting, thats just where it manifested in that moment. Its in my relationship with my family, my friends, my self. I want to be Paul Bunyan. I want to be able to do it all. I want to know it all. And even better, I want to get all the credit for knowing it all after.
"But can the ax boast greater power than the person who uses it?" That keeps ringing through my head. Who am I without God? I am nothing. I am worthless. Apart from Him I can do nothing, but If I remain in Him, He can do immeasurably great things through me. He can do that, not me. Sometimes I want to fight myself. I want to take myself out behind the barn and knock sense into myself haha. I need to get myself out of the way. I need to surrender to God what is His, my life, and let Him do what he wants. I can still be a really big ax, I just have to let God be the one that swings it.
For some reason as I wrote this this old video that I saw probably 4 years ago came to mind so I figured I would share it too. Its really good. Especially when about the 5:00 minute mark God reminds the guy who is holding who up. I need to tell myself that every day.
Maybe if I keep telling myself that one day I'll get out of His way.