So, depsite today containing some serious snow-driving and Friday-meetings… I also slotted in some amazing lunch-break time to visit Loch Ness (and therefore the mighty Dores Inn…) with Laura before her flight back to Manchester this evening. We ate. We laughed. We pulled crackers. And Laura took photos. Of Loch Ness. Of the snow. And of me.
Now, I love photos. Especially the comic variety. I’m not someone who minds having my picture taken.
We did however learn today, that I’m just not so good at being a straight-faced photographic model. In fact, I’m completely rubbish at it! I know, I know, the small 5 foot 1 1/2 inch stature of my tiny frame should have really given away the fact that I wasn’t going to be catwalking it anytime soon, but I also can’t keep a straight face when I know someone is trying to take a serious picture of me. It’s just too funny. Laura, ever patient and wonderful, really tried hard to get me to pose, all pensive and moody looking, sitting in the snow, looking out thoughtfully over Loch Ness.
She really tried.
But I just wanted to go on the rope swing. And have my photo taken jumping mid-air so it looked like I was levitating (Because THAT is cool…) And pull stupid faces whilst holding piles of snow. I just don’t do ‘smouldering’ or ‘pensive’ so well. I do laughing, pirate patches and party hats.
Having someone take photos of you is a strange kind of experience though. Because it makes you the centre of attention. All eyes (and a rather large zoom lense) are on you. You are being captured on camera. Deliberately. It almost feels a bit self-indulgant.
As me and Laura were walking back down Dores beach, towards the welcoming open fire and plentiful pots of tea awaiting us inside, we were talking about this issue, and I was jokingly hypothesising about how ‘stunninging beautiful’ I would look in all my comedy shots (joke). To sum up my point, I looked at Laura (both, pensively, thoughtfully and comically) and said, ‘自画自賛のようですが。’ (or ‘jigajisan-no-you-desu-ga’ if you want to ruin perfectly good Japanese with romaji…)
Because in a far cooler way than English, that Japanese phrase means something like, ‘This may sound like blowing my own horn, but…’ or ‘I seem to be singing my own praises…’
And it was in jest, but it was true. I was jokingly singing my own praises. I was focusing on me. I was enjoying being the centre of attention.
But, joking aside, it also made me think about the more serious reality.
And a more serious question.
That we should all think about sometimes.
To keep in check.
Whose praises is my life singing?
Think about it?
Whose praises is your life singing?
If your life was played in fantastical, muscial song, who would get the glory from the tune? Whose name would the words ring out? Who would be the central theme?
Because I talk a lot about praising Jesus. And worshipping Jesus. But what does my life sing? And what does my pride sing?
If I’m really and brutally honest, I naturally focus on myself. Far too naturally. I boast about what I can do or what I want. My mind makes it all about me. My heart makes it all about me.
But it’s a war I’m fighting.
Jon Thurlow writes this amazingly honest song that sings out these beautiful lyrics based on Philippians Chapter 2,
‘Trust your heart’, that’s what the world says,
But I know my heart and it is desperately wicked,
Something deep inside my says, ‘I want to be just like God,
So don’t tell me what to do, I’ll do whatever I want’.
But it’s the very same thing that cast the devil from Your Presence,
The very same thing that tripped up Adam and Eve,And it’s the very same thing that I struggle with inside of me.
But You did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped.
It’s a war I’m fighting.
To live a life that sings out the praises of Jesus instead of the praises of Peta.
What would a life that sung uncomprising praises only to Jesus look like? What would it sound like? What would it feel like? If I really got that?
If I boasted in my weakness so that Jesus would get the glory out of a life poured out?
I’m not sure, but step by step, and note by note, I pray Holy Spirit helps me find out.
I really do.
Oh, and 自画自賛のようですが here are some of the funniest photos from earlier. My favourite is the sullen-pirate-one. Or the jumping one. Or the rope swing…. It’s no good. I can’t decide. Laura is just too good 😉