I am sick. Oh, not seriously, I will live, after all, but I have been battling what started out as a summer head cold for about two weeks now. I had to call in sick two days last week, and so far, two days this week. I don't know what tomorrow will bring. Between the coughing jags, the gravelly voice, the lightheadedness and the topsy-turvy GI system (thank you, antibiotics), I've been thinking a lot, mostly because I don't have the energy to do much else.
There is something about bodily weaknesses that bring spiritual weaknesses to the fore, and I find that even in my weakened state, without coming in contact with any other human, I still sin. I am still confronted with sinful thoughts that won't let me go (logismoi) and laziness. Even without having to rush to work, I still couldn't find the time for morning prayers yesterday. What did I do instead? I don't even remember, but probably I caught up on my email and Facebook.
It's profoundly humbling and distressing to find that *I* am my own occasion for sin. I can't point the finger at anyone else but me. Deep within me is a force to sin, to be petty, to be angry, to be lustful, to be greedy, to be lazy, to be prideful. I can't dismiss my baseness because I was rushed, I had no time. I am alone, without distraction, and still, I am distracted. Still I fall. Still, I poke new holes in my baptismal garment.
I am angry with myself, with my weakness. I don't like to think of myself as weak - I think of myself as strong. When operating under my own power, doing all sorts of unimportant, worldly things I am pretty strong. But when it comes to becoming pleasing to God, no matter how much effort I put out, or how little, it just doesn't work. I think *at* God, but I don't really speak to Him. Without speaking to Him, I can't hear His voice. There is a give and take in relationships that does not exist.
Lord, how shall I be saved? I *am* the sin. It's part of my innermost self. I cry from the frustration and pain of it all. Like Paul, I do not do what I want to do and instead, do what I do not want to do. It's not anyone else but me. I am helpless against the desire to sin. Yet, I do recognize, today at least, that under my own power, I am drowning. I just don't know how to stop.
Maybe the secret is in letting myself go under. Maybe it's in the weakness. Maybe life is like quicksand - the more you try to get out, the more you move, the more you operate under your own power, the more you sink, but if you are still and patient, you stop sinking and you can be pulled out and saved. Maybe that's how I could be saved too.
I am again alone with God today. No pretenses, no facades. Just me and Him. Raw, unadulterated. Offering my torn and dirty garment and my sinful soul.