Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Little White Lies

Have you ever told a little white lie?  I was queen of this practice when I was a young girl.  The biggest whopper I ever told was during a 5th grade social studies presentation.  We were asked to give an oral report on a different country, and dressing up in the style of that area was optional.  I chose Vietnam and donned a yellow dressing gown adorned with tiny, pink flowers, a snap up front and a lace collar.  I creatively worked into my speech the "fact" that the traditional, Vietnamese garment belonged to Mrs. Tran at our church and she told me she wanted me to have it. (By the way, Mrs. Tran spoke no English.)  Obviously in my 5th grade mind, my knee-length cotton robe looked exactly like the ankle-length silk "Áo Dài" that Mrs. Tran wore to church.  In retrospect, I can't imagine how Mrs. Chandler, my 5th grade teacher, kept a straight face as I solemnly swore my housecoat was authentic.
The reasons for my lie telling were generally two-fold.  One, as in my 5th grade fib, was to give life to my artistic imaginings and my desire for the lies I told to be real.  Reason two, more often the case, was to escape the consequences of whatever I happened to be covering up.

How ridiculous that the lies I tell now are most often to myself.  In these cases, I've discovered I am trying to cover my inadequacies, my faults, and my impure motives (while defining them to myself as chaste).  I caught myself in one these falsehoods this past Saturday. 

I swore off this blog for the weekend, telling myself and my husband that I wasn't going to look at it, write anything (until my Monday morning submission which I do on Sunday night), or check into it.  Not an hour into my Saturday morning but I had already succumbed to the temptation of signing in.  I had to make sure I didn't need to "do anything" or "fix anything."  But the embarrassing part of my frailty is that my human nature and gigantic capacity for insecurity needed to see if anyone was reading it, commenting on it, or otherwise visiting it.  It was almost as though the desire to find out what others thought took on a life of its own, and with it trumped the motive for starting this project to begin with...to give honor and glory to God.  Instead, I was attempting to honor myself and my words (which, of course, are never my words...I always have to pray for them).  And to top it all off, rather than fixing my ridiculous obsession with a prayer, I chose to lie to myself instead, insisting I had work to get done.  It took me a few hours to realize what I was doing and luckily, despite all of my weaknesses, at least I don't often mind admitting when I have a vulnerability, so I shut everything off and didn't look at it again until time to write last night.

So today's prayer is this:  "Lord, please help me see that honor of You is always the most important thing...that glorifying what I think or what others think is to put those thoughts and feelings above You. Help me to be truthful to myself, others and You so that I may purely listen for your bidding and watch for my path constantly being forged first by You.  Thank you for forgiving me my humanity...my need to be important...my little white lies told to cover my weaknesses."  Oh, how much less mortifying it would be to know that I only had Mrs. Chandler's reproachful gaze upon me rather than God's reproving shake of the head, wondering why I'm at it again.

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