Friday, August 20, 2004

Well, He Knows Me

My computer desk sits in a corner of my office facing the wall. To my right and along the same wall, stands my door, usually slightly ajar in order to keep the heat in my office. In the center of the office, perpendicular to my computer desk is my "real" desk which usually receives little attention except from the piles and stacks of papers strewn across its surface. On the other side of that, basically the opposite corner from my computer desk, is my plant. Technically, it's my bosses plant which he received as a gift when he began working here nearly three years ago. I, however, seeing the poor treatment it received in his office, stole it and adopted it as my own.

I used to have an amazing system for watering my plant. Once a week Robert would come in to read to me. (Robert is in his fifties and just began to read a few years ago) Robert and I would sit in the chairs along the wall in front of my "real" desk and he would read a passage from the Bible that he had been working on, adding my help when needed. Being on that side of my hefty "real" desk called my attention to my plant, so when Robert left, I would water it. However, Robert's visits have become more sporadic and, therefore, my plant has suffered due to my Pavlovian watering-reminder trick.

Of late, I have been making a concerted effort to remember my poor plant. It is starting to flourish again, perhaps it'll even flower again soon; it used to have flowers all the time. I finally got around to a superficial pruning today. There were a lot of dead leaves and the further I pruned, the more I realized how it could benefit from a real repotting and removal of dead shoots attached to live ones-- how it could grow even more if I just gave it some more space and took off even more of that extra baggage.

I'm as sure that I've used the following illustration before as I am that I will use it again, so let me bring it to the table. In C.S. Lewis' Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Chronicles of Narnia, Book 5, Eustace Scrubb becomes a dragon and tries and tries to peel away at his own scales to reveal the boy he knows lays hidden inside. Eustace was trying to prune himself. However, it wasn't until he let Aslan tear deep into his scaly hide-- piercingly rending his pride and vanity, that he could finally find the boy he was meant to be; a boy different from the one he himself had remembered or imagined.

You probably know where I'm going with this. Often times I feel like I'm offering up my life for God to prune, but only to the point at which I'm comfortable. Perhaps this isn't actually allowing God to prune me after all, much less give me a good repotting-- rearranging my own idea of who I am and who I was meant to be. I think God wants to prune and repot me, to give me an overhaul. I hope I am brave enough to let Him tear into my pride and see myself as He sees me, as I was truly meant to be and then continue to be that person.

"But who is Aslan? Do you know him?" [Eustace]
"Well--he knows me," said Edmund. ~ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 5