I Lied to a Priest This Week

I have to admit it.  I really did lie to a priest.  My own priest, even.

He asked me if we could get together some people to talk about an aspect of our church’s ministry that I know a little bit about.  And I quickly and sanctimoniously told him that I wasn’t real big on committees or conversation, and that — instead — I just like to act, to do.

Ha!  How mistaken I am; my heart is “deceitful beyond cure” apparently (Jeremiah was smart!).  So I can amend my original statement to say, “I lied to a priest this week.  And I lied to myself.”

It’s true that I don’t love committees or group meetings or endless cycles of conversation about something that might/could/should happen.  I’m more interested in cutting to the chase.  In my own deliberations, which often have an emotional genesis, I usually end up where I thought I would, or where I started (which are generally the same place).  Beating the thing to death doesn’t yield much change.  I do what I was going to do, or don’t do what I was never likely to do anyway.  Talking about it with others doesn’t move me much.

Another way of looking at that could take me close to an admission that I am not readily swayed by hearing what others think.  I am impatient with process.  I value acting over talking.  But God help me, because I don’t really act as fast as I said I do.

As much as it’s true that I don’t like to sit in a committee meeting, I have to admit that I do like to spend a lot of time, in my own head and at my own desk, MAKING A PLAN or FORGING A STRATEGY.  My husband has mentioned before that I could just jump straight to disciplining a wayward child and skip the “I need to figure out what my policy is on this” mode, when it’s a matter of clear right and wrong.  I stay “in committee” way too long, only it’s a committee of one.

The truth is that I like to think that I’m a woman of action. But instead I’m a woman who is merely an infant on the journey to trying to become a woman of action, more of a “doer of the Word” than a “hearer (only) of the Word.”  That’s the truth I should be trumpeting, if any.

It’s not that I’m at the soup kitchen and thus can’t meet to talk about the poor. It’s that I’m sorting out if and when it is that I’m going to go to the soup kitchen, and how it fits with my own priorities, and that process takes precedence over both the meeting and the soup-kitchening.

I’m not sure what I’ll say to my priest next time he asks me to come to a meeting.  But I do know that I’m a walking, talking example of Jeremiah’s commentary (in chapter 17) that we cling to things that are lies and have deluded hearts that mislead us.  I know I do.

I’m not what I pretend to be.  I’m not what I think I am.  I’m a mixed bag, a vegetable soup of flawed humanity, and we humans are characterized (if we are honest) by barely knowing our own hearts.  Much less expressing them clearly and with integrity to others.

I confess it, priest.


~ by Cary on January 14, 2011.

5 Responses to “I Lied to a Priest This Week”

  1. Love this, Cary!

  2. Sinner! no doubt your priest will absolve you, but your penance would probably be to go to 5 comittee meetings…this was good by the way…i needed to hear what you said…thanks 🙂

  3. […] I wrote about my own self-deception and about how I had come to see that I have room for improvement in the ability to join with and […]

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