Giving Up My Pride | A Meditation
Here’s a meditation on one of my favorite Psalms, only 3 verses long, and one of my everyday challenges as a blogger.
Psalm 131, Today’s English Version
Lord, I have given up my pride
And turned away from my arrogance.
I am not concerned with great matters
Or with subjects too difficult for me.
Instead, I am content and at peace.
As a child lies quietly in its mother’s arms,
So my heart is quiet within me.
Israel, trust in the Lord
Now and forever!
* * *
Psalm 131, My Informal Version
Lord, I have not given up my pride
Or turned away from my arrogance.
I have been concerned with great matters
And with subjects too difficult for me.
I am not content and at peace.
My heart is not quiet within me.
Instead I am like a restless child
Fidgeting and fussing in its mother’s arms.
I cannot say I trust in You
Now and forever.
Yet You quietly hold me, waiting.
This itself is a great matter about
A subject I do not seem to understand.
You invite me to stop fretting and fidgeting.
My pride says, ‘I don’t need Your help!
I’m doing just fine, thank You.
Go hold someone else in Your arms,
Someone who needs You more than I do.
I just want to get back to my writing.’
I’ve been caught out today. Caught in my pride. The conversation in my head has been out of order.
After several failed attempts to get on track with my writing, I finally looked at Psalm 131. I decided to turn it around and see where that might lead.
Today I found myself swinging between contentment about what I’m doing (blogging), and a crippling fear that I’m not good enough. It isn’t a matter of confidence. It’s a matter of comparison. One of my colleagues used to say comparison lies at the root of all unhappiness. My behavior today confirms this.
Few things get me off track faster than visiting other blogs or hearing about other writers’ successes. My knee-jerk reaction is to begin comparing myself with them. Unhappiness follows.
My self-talk doesn’t help, either. It’s about how old I am and how I shouldn’t care a whit what other people are doing. Just so I’m happy! Well, there’s the rub. I’m not happy, or I wouldn’t be trying to convince myself.
Instead of being content, I’m squirming around on mother’s lap, fretting about how I’m not like so-and-so. I’m not sitting there quietly, content with being who I already am.
Trusting in myself may sound impertinent and downright wrong–even prideful. Yet this Psalm invites me not simply to trust in Mother who is holding me, but in myself as Mother’s child. A beloved, beautiful girl child, content to be right where she is today.
Contentment like this isn’t one of my strengths. Competition seems to come naturally to me, fueled by pride. The competition isn’t with myself, but with anyone who seems to be gaining on me or is already out there ahead of me. As though blogging were a competitive sport, with only one winner.
I want to say it again, to myself: I am God’s beloved daughter-child, a mature, responsible adult woman. This is more than enough food and drink for my thirsty soul today.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 11 February 2015