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Magic Mirror

Nothing shakes my confidence like looking in the mirror after a long day of  interaction with people and finding that I had food in my teeth, a booger in my  nose, or dandruff in my hair.  That probably seems shallow.  That’s because it  is, but I can’t help it.  I’m a little narcissistic.  If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t  have a blog, now would I?

Ironically, the place that I normally sit to  study my Bible and pray is directly in front of a mirror.  I call it Magic  Mirror because it elongates images and makes me look five to ten pounds  lighter.  It used to hang in the hallway of my grandmother’s house.  I loved  it.  On Thanksgiving, when I felt that I had eaten way too much and was sure  that if I didn’t get my rings off soon they’d be stuck there forever, I would go  to Magic Mirror for reassurance.  Then and only then did I feel justified having  a piece of pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream…or two.

This morning, I  realized something.  Magic Mirror has become a real distraction to me during my  personal Bible study time.   Catching a glimpse of hair out of place or an  unbecoming expression on my face as I concentrate on what the Holy Spirit has  revealed to me, I look up to investigate, primp, fuss, and worry over what I  just saw, breaking completely my concentration on difficult Truth and numbing  myself to the healing conviction of the Holy Spirit.  The prick in my heart  tells me that this tendency goes beyond the half hour I spend in intentional  Bible study on a given day, and I wonder how long this has been going on.  How  many opportunities for enlightenment, growth, and intimacy with the Father  have I missed while looking at my own reflection?

Magic Mirror is not  longer that.  It has revealed an ugly flaw in me, one that I’ve been wearing  around for who-knows-how-long for all to see, a preoccupation with myself, and  I’m embarrassed.  The very fact that it embarrasses me reveals the depth of the  blemish.  It shouldn’t matter so much what other people think beyond the fact  that I may have unknowingly discredited Christ before others in some way.  What  matters is that this preoccupation with myself has probably dulled my discernment and hindered my obedience, rendering me less effective in my service to Him.

So, what to do about Magic Mirror?  Well, I could find  somewhere altogether new to read my Bible and pray so that I won’t be so easily  distracted, or I could cover it with a cloth when I study and pray like people  used to do when they were in mourning.   That may not be such a bad idea.  In  fact, a funeral may be in order.  A funeral to self.

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