Thursday, October 29, 2009

Self-Indulgence = Blah

Today has been a 'blah' day. I'm not quite sure why, but I've been in one of those moods where I don't feel like doing anything, and all I want to do is sit around and veg. I'm sure there are several reasons for this, but ultimately I realized that the only way to get out of this mood was to stop sitting around thinking about what I feel like doing, and instead do something productive that benefits someone else. In fact, I didn't start feeling better until I made Matt a sandwich (funny how the focus wasn't on me...).

Matthew 3:4 does something I don't think is done anywhere else: it describes John the Baptist's clothes. "John's clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey." Regardless of whether or not someone's wardrobe and diet are included somewhere else, I know it doesn't happen a lot. I realized that if it was included, it was probably an important detail. So I thought about what the relevance of this was. The note in my Bible said that John's wardrobe and diet show a visual protest against self-indulgence, which I verified by pulling out Matt's commentary (it said the same thing with a lot of larger words). What I realized is that in my flexible, wide open schedule I've become extremely self-indulgent. Although I don't go out and spend a whole lot of money, I do whatever I feel like doing when I feel like doing it, which means I usually end up watching TV or perusing sites like Facebook.

In my quest to do something productive and less self-indulgent, I opened my Bible up to Revelation and read the following (7:15):

"they are before the throne of God
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.

The illustration above shows those who "have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (vs 14) serving God day and night. This reminded me that I should be serving God at all times - day and night. By serving others I'm serving God, and serving others takes the focus off of me and puts it on someone else, which I'm sure is a good thing.

So what am I taking from all of this tonight? I'm guilty of self-indulgence and that needs to be changed. My focus needs to be on serving others, whether it's something simple like serving my husband by making him dinner or washing dishes, or something larger for someone else. My long-term goal is to keep my eyes open for things that need to be done so I can step in and do them. In the short-term, I'm going to spend less time sitting in front of the computer and TV so I can pay attention to other things going on around me.

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