A cynic is a faultfinding captious critic; especially one who believes that human conduct is motivated wholly by self-interest. (source – Miriam Webster.com) (Oh my goodness, most of the time I truly believe this with all my heart!) (Sometimes though, I know it isn't true for me...so that has to be the case for other people too.)
Cynicism is to prayer what cancer is to the body. It eats away at the very life of the person it embodies. A cynic is suspicious of everyone and questions the motives of what makes them do what they do. When we apply this to our prayer life, the cynic actually questions God – like the serpent in the Garden. (Being a cynic is exhausting!)
These are hard words to hear. Yet many of us if we’re honest, will admit our prayers are often hindered by our cynicism. We pray and our prayers seemingly go unanswered, so we think to ourselves – why bother? Why get my hopes up just to see nothing happen."
I am really struggling with cynicism right now. Probably in every area of my life. Definitely in every area of my life. In fact, my whole attitude of late can be summed up as cynical. Examples:
- Why should I do anything for him, it just goes unnoticed or is quickly forgotten?
- Why even bother to talk to the kids about that, all they hear is 'nag nag', 'lecture lecture'?
- Why clean the house, it just gets messed up again?
- Why should I be the one to volunteer, I always volunteer? It is someone else's turn.
- Why do I always have to be the one to take the high road? (It's lonely up here, LOL.)
Parenting is the most sacrificial job ever. The sacrifice of self is endless and seldom produces the results we think we want. We look at the small picture of NOW and forget that growing up is a process. We compare the worst of our kids to the best of others. We listen to other parents paint their children as a Picasso and get depressed over our fingerpainted mess. I am praying to give my kids more grace. They are amazing kids and yet I keep pushing for more...better grades, better cross country times, cleaner rooms, better attitudes, better communication, making quality friendships, doing meaningful devotions, praying, treating family better...no wonder they feel like not even trying sometimes. This is the abbreviated list of expectations.
I am a very blessed mom and wife. I am flawed and so is my spouse and so are my children. We will never be perfect this side of the dirt. I need to stop trying to be perfect, expecting perfect, and perhaps worst of all, trying to put perfect up as our family display. I am often complimented on being 'real'. However, this is often a backhanded compliment because the people who look and act perfect seem to get the most attention and respect. They are revered for having it all together...even when we all know deep down no one does. I guess I just want to be honest in a world where honesty is not rewarded. I know that being real is MY only choice...but I sometimes feel completely naked in my 'real' when everyone else is dressed to the nines in their 'pretense'. I desperately need to know other people have struggles too. I also need to be seen as something other than 'flawed'...which is another word for 'real'. I am forgiven...I get to be seen as Christ sees me...or at least that is how it is supposed to be. I sure don't want anyone to look at my life and think I have it all figured out. However, sometimes I feel like the only one with skin showing.
My cynicism and I need to go take a shower...hopefully the cynicism washes down the drain...but the cynic in me wonders if that is even possible.
Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.