Watching the James Bond movie Casino Royale last night, 007's boss said "Rarely does arrogance and self awareness occupy the same space." I think the boss of British Intelligence was correct in her understanding. Arrogance leaves little room for self awareness. I think I have a problem. Too much arrogance and not enough self awareness. A close friend read my last post bemoaning the local church as irrelevant to the larger world. My assumption was based on hearing a sermon this past Sunday on the Good Samaritan entitled "Who is my Neighbor?" with no mention of Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman. I raged on about this missed opportunity. I pontificated saying "No wonder the outside world believes us to be irrelevant!" My friend said the I was "scolding" the readers of this blog. My spouse said, as gently as she was able, that I might have an anger problem. She reports I might be angry with the church and it would be helpful if I confess that the church has wounded me.
Maybe Karen is correct. As a young man I came into the church to find a family. I didn't find the family I was looking for. I found some fractured and imperfect folks doing the best they can, with what they have, where they find themselves. Good stuff but not the family of unconditional love and compassion that I desperately needed. I have been wounded by the church but most likely my wounds are a product of asking the church to be what it is incapable of being. I think I have a problem when I want for this institution to be what it is unable to be.
I have expected too much from the church. I have wanted the church to accept my leadership but I am unwilling to behave within the boundaries of what the church demands of its leaders. I have wanted the church to love me unconditionally yet I am unwilling to love the church unconditionally. I have wanted the church to be my family, on my terms, in the way I demand. Who has the problem here? I think I have the problem.
As I have said before, some people are not afflicted with the disease of self awareness. Today I may be coming down with a cough or a sneeze of self awareness. My prayer is for God to allow this affliction to grow into a full fledged disease of self awareness. No more pontifications coming from my woundedness. Humble me Oh Lord and make me worthy of the church for tomorrow.