"There is within the human heart a tough, fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always to possess. It covets things with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns my and mine look innocent enough in print, but their constant and universal use is significant. They express the real nature of the old Adamic man better than a thousand volumes of theology could do. They are verbal symptoms of our deep disease. The roots of our hearts have grown down into things, and we dare not pull up one rootlet lest we die. Things have become necessary to us, a development never originally intended. God's gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by the monstrous substitution... There can be no doubt that this possessive clinging to things is one of the most harmful habits in the life. Because it is so natural, it is rarely recognized for the evil that it is. But its outworkings are tragic." A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing.
My last post about the temptation to vacation is related... If I were not so content with 'things', I could not afford to life without the constant communion of Christ. As I read this passage from Tozer, there was a response in me... from a safe distance, that thought "this is why Lent is so important" as if I could safely wait until Lent to do this work.
But Epiphany is the season in which the church traditionally remembers the coming of the wise men, the magi, who brought gifts to the Christ child. In their worship of the child, they 'revealed' Jesus to the world as Lord and King. The word 'epiphany' means 'to show', 'to make known' or 'to reveal.'
What better season than Epiphany to examine the 'tough, fibrous root of fallen life' in my heart... the possessiveness that hungers and thirsts for 'things' and then clings to them in place of the King.
Tozer writes of Abraham, and what he learned in the 'school of renunciation': "He had everything, but he possessed nothing... Things had been cast out forever. They had now become external to the man. His inner heart was free from them. The world said, "Abraham is rich," but the aged partriarch only smiled. He could not explain it, but he knew that he owned nothing, that his real treasures were inward and eternal."
Epiphany... the season to root out the possessiveness, the my and the mine... that the lack of possession would 'reveal' that Christ is King!