Sunday, October 7, 2007

Impulse

I did something dumb yesterday. It was an impulse; I acted without thinking. I was ashamed almost immediately. I thought about it all day. Last night in our Samson Society meeting, the discussion topic was pride. I knew I had to come clean.

Here is something Nate Larkin said on I, Samson that helped me understand myself. He was talking about the difference between Samson and David. It was about reflex verses reflection; just doing verses thinking.

Samson took on a very confrontational style. His first large scale provocation of the Philistines actually was an escalation of a cycle of confrontation that he had started by picking a fight. He started catching foxes and when he had caught 300 of them, he put them together in pairs, tied their tails together, tied torches to the tails, lit them and set the foxes loose in the Philistine fields. They responded in fury and they invaded.

Early on when he was a young man, he had developed the habit of wandering alone through Philistine territory looking for trouble…
I have done this a lot in my life. I’ve picked some fights with the enemy that got me in more trouble than I expected. Of course, I didn’t think about it so expectation of consequences wasn’t really part of it. I’ve also picked fights within my family. Done something or said something dumb and then been left with the consequences.

This is an area of my life where I would like to be changed. I need transformation so that my actions don’t harm my family or the cause of Christ. I don’t want to end up like Samson.

So here is the story: I went to the Columbus Day Parade in downtown Denver. One of my sons was with me. The American Indian Movement and various other radical and anarchist groups decided to block the parade route. The police were ready and cleared the street. The parade started and awhile later another group of them blocked the street again. A guy stood in front of where we were standing. He was obviously one of the organizers of the protest. I made a comment to him that it seemed that a lot of the protestors were professionals and weren’t really there because of Columbus but because they had some other beef with the city or with America in general. Then a woman joined him. She was taking pictures. On impulse I flashed my hand in front of her camera. She responded furiously, elbowing me in the chest. The guy then started yelling at me. Thankfully, there were police all around or something else might have happened.

I know it was a stupid thing to do and nothing good was accomplished by it. I could have gotten beat up.

I admitted what I did at the Samson Society meeting last night. One thing I knew is that I could be honest and someone wasn’t going to lecture me or rub my nose in it. I already knew what I had done was wrong. Now I needed someone to walk with me, pray with me and to hope with me for change. It made honesty easier. It made stepping beyond my pride easier.

I made a commitment in my mind that I would do the hardest thing imaginable; I would tell my wife. She already knows that I do many dumb things and it is hard to admit another one to her; but, I want change and transparency. I admit it to you as a reader of this as well. My first step toward freedom is confession. I make a step beyond isolation and pride. I admit I am flawed and need others to help me get beyond myself. It feels good.

I know that impulse can be good sometimes. It can be good to give money or a part of myself without thinking too much about what it will cost me. I need more of that and less of me going around making trouble.

Philip

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