Saturday, March 08, 2008

Lessons from Creed Barrett pt. 2

Since moving in to my new place in August, I have had the pleasure of spending much of my freetime in close proximity to the Barret family that lives upstairs. This means that I have been able to get to know their two year old son, Creed. I am continually amazed by how much I learn about myself by witnessing life in such a pure form. This is the second installment in what will be a regular report on what I'm coming to understand about life and adulthood through the life and infancy of Creed Barrett.

I think that I would like to be Creed Barrett. His grandparents, Amber's parents, came in town for the weekend, and have been watching Creed while John and Amber enjoy some time "off." Each time I have gone upstairs, they have been sitting at the kitchen table, lounging in the living room or sitting on the back porch, focused in on everything that little Creed says. He is the center of their world right now. Anything he says is interesting. Anything he does is impressive. Any question he asks is met with incredible consideration and is carefully and clearly answered. He's rolling in his grandparents' attention and love. At two years old, Creed is obsessed with attention. He yells for it, fights for it, jumps off of chairs for it. He craves it. And this weekend, he is having his greatest desire filled.
I often catch myself fighting to suppress my own desire for attention. I know that part of being an adult is the understanding that I am not the most important thing in the world. But, that doesn't keep me from being the most important thing to myself. I often notice the tendencies I have of approaching my world with the goal of achieving what is most comfortable, most exciting, most attention-getting for me. I hate this about myself. I fight and fight to seem humble to anyone who asks. I pride myself on humility, even. It's the residue of rejection of God's standard of fulfillment and righteousness in my life, by searching for validation by my own means. And when I try to achieve that fulfillment outside of Him, its simple vanity. I am that two year old Creed throwing things at guests so they will acknowledge him, or screaming at the top of my lungs, so someone will come over and hold me. But the Lord is working in me, to bring me out of my narcism and into the perfection he has destined me for. But this weekend, Creed still gets his indulgence, as I am learning to ignore mine in the light of God's grace.

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