Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored. Romans 8:5 (The Message)
ab•sorb ( b-sôrb , -zôrb ) *
tr.v. ab•sorbed, ab•sorb•ing, ab•sorbs
1. To take (something) in through or as through pores or interstices.
2. To occupy the full attention, interest, or time of; engross. See Synonyms at monopolize.
3. To retain (radiation or sound, for example) wholly, without reflection or transmission.
4. To take in; assimilate: immigrants who were absorbed into the social mainstream.
5. To learn; acquire: “Matisse absorbed the lesson and added to it a new language of color” Peter Plagen.
6. To receive (an impulse) without echo or recoil: a fabric that absorbs sound; a bumper that absorbs impact.
7. To assume or pay for (a cost or costs).
8. To endure; accommodate: couldn’t absorb the additional hardships.
9. To use up; consume: The project has absorbed all of our department’s resources.
When 2008 rolled into being, I made a decision. The decision was that 2008 would be all about me. After all I was turning 50 and after fifty years of being what everyone else wanted me to be, I planned on spending some time doing what I wanted, when I wanted it. Well, within the confines of my goody two shoes mentality. I started out the year feeling a little, well, a lot, sorry for myself, and remedied that with indulging myself. I went back to Folk School. I learned two new crafts and bought all the expensive equipment and supplies to do them at home. I taught my horse a new skill and bought more expensive equipment to do that. I took time to unlearn some life long habits that I have needed to get rid of for a long time. Are you getting what the common theme has been for the last nine months? It’s been “I”. For someone who spent her life giving, helping and ministering, I have been uncharacteristically self absorbed. And while it was lovely for a while, it is starting to wear thin. It all came to a head yesterday. I had every minute of my day planned with “me stuff”. But, the burglar alarm at one of our museums was going off and even though I am the last on the call list, no one else was answering their phone. Instead of thanking the alarm company operator for letting me know, I pitched a hissy fit and yelled at someone who was simply trying to do their job. A job we pay them to do. Then, husband kindly suggested it might be wise to pay a visit to the site and make sure everything was okay and offered to drive me. I went, but pouted and left threatening messages on my staff’s phones the whole way there. Thankfully, nothing was wrong, but I was out of sorts the rest of the day. This morning, husband made a comment about a friend saying they were “self absorbed”, and it dawned on me, he could just as well be talking about me. Of course, as always when God is trying to deal with me, both the Sunday School lesson and the sermon in church were about wanting our own way and not being obedient to God’s direction. Sigh. It is not that all those things I did in my fiftieth year have been wrong or evil. When they get to be so vital to me that I lose sight of the things that are really important, that is where I fall short of God’s plan for me. Balance has always been difficult for me. I am all one thing or another, no in between. Though there are still days left in 2008, I have absorbed all of me that I can take. Absorb also means to learn so I think I will take this lesson and apply it to the next fifty years starting now.