What price? 21.7.18

22 Jul

The news is full of egos.  Trump, Kim Jong Un, Putin, Johnson and their coterie of spin doctors, legal advisers and spokespersons.  The non-stop global social media phenomena of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and You Tube guarantees the glare of press attention and political punditry. Handshakes, motorcades, press briefings and summitry proceed in an endless procession across our flat screen world.  

The harder truth however is that each of us are prone to focus on our public image; in other words “how others see us”. Our identity can easily become bound up in our sense of the public perception of “what we do” as opposed to the inner truth of “who we are”.

Authenticity – when who we are in private is the same as who we are in public – demands an openness of heart and humility of spirit that is hard to sustain by human will alone. All too often our need to justify ourselves, to assert our point of view over others, triumphs under pressure.  We are all in need of Grace.

My bible tells me that “the things that are seen are passing whilst the things that are unseen are eternal” (2Cor4v18), and that it is “the inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1Peter3v4).  It also tells me that “God sees not as mankind sees, for we look at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart” (1Samuel 16v7)

Standing before God there is nowhere to hide, my inner self is as open to his gaze as my feeble attempts at outer presentation. Yet Grace allows me not only to stand firm under his gaze, but also to know his endless forgiveness of my repeated failures; and through this gift to surrender my drive for image management and self promotion; to rest content in my identity as one of his precious children and in the stunning revelation that this gift of eternal identity is open to us all. (John3v16)

The Price

What price the outer self
That needs so much
To feed its public face;
That all consuming urge
To win the race.
The rest
And so succeed
In fame and wealth.

Or quiet within
The truer self
Of living faith and recognition,
That life is not an onward rush
Of self volition,
But quiet walk
And graced submission
To the lover of my soul.

The Maker of us all
Whose gift of life
Meets all our needs
And draws us close,
Then sends us forth
In divine mission;
In stillness, awe
And hushed confession.

(c) Martin Wild 2018

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