I think it’s flakey to have a trip or time off to “find yourself”. It always seems a pretty vapid and narcissistic hippiesque thing to talk about, as if you yourself are a grand mystery that you need some kind of huge adventure to understand.
Of course, I’m going to have to admit now that there is something to the idea. Not because I feel that I’m a massive cool enigma that I can solve in order to be a more fulfilled person or something like that. Rather, as I have been trying to work on improving the kind of person I am, I’ve found it necessary to understand the kind of person I actually am instead of the person I imagine myself to be. The reason is simple: as long as I remain deluded as to the weaknesses I have, and the things I need to (as we say in Christian parlance) repent of as part of my sanctification, I’m going to find myself repenting of things I don’t do, while I leave the glaring ways in which I mistreat God’s good gifts to me, and the people around me largely undisturbed by my suddenly quixotic tilting at the windmills of my awn shortcomings.
A bit of an example: When I was much younger I convinced myself I was a night owl, and that I would be super effective late at night and by pulling all-nighters. For some reason, I thought a lack of sleep was cool, and so for years, I convinced myself that studying late at night was the best for me. I’d wake up bleary-eyed in the mornings, not because I wasn’t a morning person, but because I’d not gotten enough sleep. I put down my generally taciturn nature to my not having yet had coffee, instead of the fact that it’s because I’ve never really put enough attention into expressing myself verbally (you’ll find these written blogs are far more expressive than my morning devos that I do live on YouTube). The result was that I simply assumed I wasn’t very good at close study, and that there was nothing I could do about my lack of ability in talking to people.
I was wrong on both counts. Tonight I work on this short reflective blog that I’ve been working on in my head since this morning. A morning that I slept in for because I stupidly stayed up too late, but even with that, I was able to do some good reading, conversation and weekly planning out of the way before noon. It’s been this way for a while. You see, I may not particularly enjoy mornings (probably an effect of my years of self-delusion), I am very effective during them. Something I found out as I prayed and reflected on how God has put me together. I needed to do that because, well, the Bible is quite correct when it puts in the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah this:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
Jeremiah 17:9–10 (ESV)
In any case, it is almost 9:30, so I should be preparing for bed. Perhaps I should also be apologizing to the hippies, or at least thank them for domr (limited) insight.