Being blessed to have grown up in a middle class society, I don't know if what I'm about to say is true. However, if I had to guess, I'd say this: the poor aren't vain. The lack of material possessions must culture a certain type of humility, because at some point, necessity must override any sense of shame or embarrassment...
I was struck by this thought last night as I was drifting to sleep (don't the best ideas come to us in that time between waking and dreams?) and it kept me awake: in this, my year of poverty (but will it only be a year?), shouldn't I also be embracing this humility - a detachment from vanity? In my limited reflections on this so far, I am led to believe it may be one of the greatest challenges I take on. It is probably the deepest-seeded issue I struggle with, but within this context of poverty, surely I can begin to weed it out and plant new seeds, ones that will flower and bear fruits I may share with others.
And so begins the search: how can I concretely live this out? To begin, I turn to the words of a man named Ken Blanchard, who says, "Humility does not mean you think less of yourself; it means you think of yourself less." It is that old recipe for JOY:
There it is, the greatest reminder: anything worthwhile or successful must begin with The Alpha and end with the Omega Himself. Striving, tripping, falling, but ever pushing on, I will fix my eyes on Christ. +