The Burden of Facades

By June 17, 2008 culture, faith No Comments

This week, I’ve tackled some overdue house cleaning and clutter purging. I love the purging, hate the cleaning. But both are necessary, so I’m trying to alternate between the two to keep up my motivation level. In addition to the need for both in the general sense, these tasks are necessary in a specific sense too: We have an upcoming family gathering. (Serving as host is the greatest motivator!)

Some of this exertion flows from my wish for the guests to be at ease in my home. (How awful it is to be grossed out in someone else’s home!) The rest of the motivation flows from my desire to avoid embarrassment—I’d hate for the guests to encounter some of the build-up I’ve been too lazy to do anything about. Duplicity such as this is not all bad. Guests will likely be more comfortable when I am also comfortable, so the frenzy serves us both.

To be comfortable with who I am (and what my home is like) at any moment in time, though . . . that would be even better. That sort of comfort is steady and unchanging, unaffected by the external state of affairs. That’s a peace-giving comfort. And I want to be that sort of comfortable to people around me.

In The Pursuit of God, A. W. Tozer said the cure for deliverance from the burden of pretense is found in the words of the Lord Jesus, “Become like children” (Matt. 18:3). Children are free from the burden of facades and shows, free to be comfortable to be with people no matter the external state of affairs.

I’d like to add that to my prep list.

“The most fatiguing activity in the world is the drive to seem other than you are; it is less exhausting to become what you want to be than to maintain a facade.” —Sydney J. Harris

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