Monday, March 10, 2008

I am not my own

I’ve been feeling very weak and vulnerable for the last few days. I’ve had a fever with a cough, nausea, aches, congestion and sleeplessness since Friday; I haven’t set foot outside our house since I got home from work Friday afternoon. I hate being sick. I like to think I can set my own schedule based on my own priorities and when I’m laid up for a few days it’s humbling. As the clouds start to lift it feels like I’ve just stepped out of a painful and foggy time warp that I entered about Friday at lunchtime. I feel like a wimp and a hypocrite for taking Theraflu and Tylenol after going well over three years without any prescription or OTC medications. I’m sick of lying around and feeling worthless to the world. There were a number of things I didn’t get to do last weekend that I wanted to do. I didn’t get to go to the doctor with Susie today. Susie’s mom and dad were in town this weekend helping out around the house and I didn’t pay them any attention or give them any appreciation for their help. I guess that’s a whole paragraph to say that I’ve been spending too much time focusing on myself and feeling sorry for myself.

And this afternoon as I was thinking about this, I kept coming back to these verses in my mind: I Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” We’re doing a study about sex, dating, and relationships on Wednesday nights with our youth. This is a verse that I’ve been bringing up week after week. But how much have I been taking it to heart as I wallow in my self-pity? I am not my own. That means giving up control, which is hard to do, which is what I’ve been wrestling with this weekend. It’s also hard to do as Susie and I look forward to the birth of our son.

This last Wednesday night we had an outstanding guest speaker at youth named Kaleb Carter. One point he made that kept sticking with me (at least the one that relates to my post) is that Susie is not mine. Susie is God’s; I just get the most enviable job of taking care of her and loving her the best I can while we’re on this earth together. If someone lends me their Ferrari, I’m not going to trash it and return it to them all crashed up and scarred. How much better than a Ferrari is Susie, and how much more worth does she hold to me and to God? And this only makes sense: if I myself am not my own, how can I call Susie my own?

So if I’m not my own, and Susie is not my own, then the child inside of her is definitely not my own. What a commission that last sentence holds for Susie and I! I can’t wait to see what this baby looks like; what features it takes from me and what features it takes from mom. But I understand the stark responsibility in front of me, which I guess is why my nervousness comes into play at times, and why I fear for the safety and well being of this child. It was hard not going to the doctor’s office today. I couldn’t wait to hear the report from Susie and was absolutely relieved to hear that the doctor is very pleased with both her and the baby’s progress.

But more than fear of something going wrong with the baby’s health, I’m fearful of my selfishness getting in the way of my responsibility to our (God’s) child. I don’t see any worse way to fail as a father, and a weekend like this has brought me face to face with that selfishness that I need to root out. So for that I’m thankful, and as the clouds start to lift and I start thinking about moving back toward life’s everyday tasks, I ask God that I would be worthy of the child He’s giving us to care for. I am not my own.

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