Wednesday, 28 January 2015

I am a sinner.

I am a sinner. I keep sinning. I start my morning with thousands of thoughts fighting for my attention. Most of them are naughty thoughts. They want me to grieve more, worry more, desire more, lie more, hoard more, idle more and at times, sleep a bit more. There are of course other thoughts, noble ones; at least I thought so. But they are less vocal about their agenda. They are more reticent. They'd rather be lurking behind the scene, hidden.

So most times, the naughty thoughts win by default. They are usually more boisterous and thus get my attention. They are also insistent and recursive. It even seems like they are reproducing themselves on a desperate viral binge. I am therefore tainted by my thoughts. I am at times even a victim in their continual struggles for my scarce attentional resources.

In fact, I have a few insidious characters that compete against one another. And they are unforgiving about it. If the arena of my thoughts plays out like a Korean drama, vanity would be the first to hoard the limelight. She will be strutting her stuff on stage and baring it all. She has no shame and also lacks self-awareness. Vanity will not be satisfied with being average. She wants adulation and I can't say that I am without such cravings. Sometimes, I live my life yearning for some recognition. I long for others' attention. If it is lonely at the top, try the depressing rock-bottom. So, the urges for fame stoke my desire like the dry wind would stoke a forest fire.

Then, trailing behind vanity is envy. Now this is a shadowy character. He is like a spoilt brat or a pampered adult dictator. Envy cannot stand what he cannot stand. He is forever standing on shaky grounds. There is never any stability or center to his endless desires. Envy is the seed of wants and it blooms overnight into a weed forest of discontentment.

Here I am a victim of my own competing wants. I sometimes feel like I have not done enough. I sometimes feel like an underachiever. I covet after what others have and sulk in my own self-perceived inadequacy and lack. I am like a child craving for toys I do not have and most likely, will not ever need. And if envy rots the soul, it also leaves my spirit broken and my resolve divided too.

And as I leave lust, greed and anger to their own devices, the last (but not least) character I wish to mention is pride. This is one fiendish old kid on the block. Pride always plays a game with me. It is a game of simple-Simon-says. And pride usually have his resounding say. He wants to be first. He wants to be right. He cannot lose. He cannot be ignored. He wants me to project humility so that he can be enthroned for being associated with that virtue. Pride wins because I don't want to lose. And pride is the first gobbler of my attentional resources because he knows my insecurity and fears.

So, returning to where I first started, I am a sinner. I keep sinning. This is my struggle as a human being, my fight as a believer, and my narrow road as a pilgrim. When Jesus says "I am the way, the truth, the light", I believe he doesn't mean that his way is a short cut. Neither does he mean that his truth is easy nor his light always clear. If anything, as faith and hope can testify, his way is often long and fraught with soul-wrenching challenges. His truth is sometimes caught between the illogical and the mythical. And his light is often occluded by smog, dust and mist of this bedazzling world.

But I have no delusions about it all. I believe that to escape from pain and disappointments is to escape from living and living to its fullest. I can very well pretend that I am above it all. But then, just like rearranging my prejudices, I will just be replacing one delusion for another. For this reason, I'd rather face the facts. And the fact is, I am a sinner. I keep sinning. But as long as I know that, I also know that I am in Christ. And in Christ, He has overcome. I too shall overcome. Cheerz.

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