Folding Stars

“Take a long, hard, look at yourself.

How did you end up here?”

From “Folding Stars” by Biffy Clyro.


I’ve been thinking about my life journey of late and a few simple words have come into focus.

There have been so many times when, if I’m brutally honest with myself, I’ve been pretty self-centred.  My drivers in life where all about me.  What should I study?  Where would I end up?  How could I find fulfillment?  Who would I go out with and how would that gratify me?  How could enjoy the lifestyle I dreamed for myself?

Even my prayer life was often centred around these sorts of questions.  I could dress that up as seeking “guidance” or “God’s will for my life”.  Such descriptions were true, but my over-arching motivation was more about how God might help me with those things and bless me with the outcomes, rather than how might I be changed or more able to be used for Him in and through all of those things?

The times that I get hassled or grumpy are invariably because my plans need to be altered or things aren’t going my way or I’m doing one thing when I’d rather be doing something else.  The most menial things can set off discontent in my mind.  I have to consciously step in and over-write that selfishness.

So the first word is “selfish”.  It’s not an adjective I’d like to attribute to myself, but one, which in the cold light of day, I need to regularly confront.  If that is true, then all it means is that, like all of us, I can be self-centred.  I can put me, myself and I in the middle of everything. 

In old school language someone once said “sin has “I” at the middle”.  That’s what it boils down to, even if that’s not the vocabulary I find easy to use.  Mind you, anything less than that and I am kidding myself.  “He who claims he is without sin…” anyone?  So, the second word is “sin”.

So what do I do with that?  I could feel lousy or label myself, but I reckon that’s totally opposite to what God would want.  What can I learn?  How can I orientate myself?

That leads me to another word – “submission”.  Now that’s a word loaded with negative connotations in our post-modern, life after God, world.  Most notably we hear people saying that the bible says that “wives should submit to their husbands”.  Verses like that get twisted and abused.  Actually, in my reading of it it also says that husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church.  That means sacrifice of the highest order.   So actually, I refocus my attention away from “selfishness” or “sin” and onto “submission” and “sacrifice”.

That all sounds terribly “woe is me”.  It’s not.  Sometimes I just need to stop, look beyond myself and what God/the church/others can do for me and ask “what I can do for them?”  Through that I reckon I might just meet some new folks, experience some new situations, learn some new things, gain a little wisdom and grow more into the person I was always meant to be.


2 Responses to “Folding Stars”

  1. 1 lynn October 1, 2009 at 9:07 am

    thank you for such an honest post, B.

  2. 2 Duncan October 1, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Amen to that last para. I find it easy to say “I’m selfish” but I find it hard to do anything about it. “What I want to do I do not do and what I do not want to do I do”. Thank God for grace

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"The priest in the booth had a photographic memory for all he had heard. He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called "The State That I'm In"". From "The State I Am In" by Belle and Sebastian
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