Looking in the mirror has gotten to be a little bit of a challenge the last several years. The first thing I notice is that I am not getting any skinnier, how I long for the days that I only had two chins. And the man boobs, oh boy, I have a rack that would make most bikini models jealous. I am growing hair at a pretty good pace everywhere but on my head, including in my ears. And the different growths and spots that keep showing up on my face are very perplexing to me. I’m pretty sure they are all benign health wise, but somewhat devastating to my arresting good looks. Fortunately Mrs. Fat Man has turned a blind eye to all these blemishes, and has chosen to stay committed to the vows she made twenty seven years ago. All of these things are to be expected. It is because of the condition we call being human that when we get older, beauty fades. Well to say I was beautiful might be an overstatement, but I was not exactly hideous either.
I wasn’t expecting that the same thing would happen when examining the man that I see when I am looking in the mirror of self reflection. I assumed that as I aged, I would become more content with the person that I am. I thought I would be more honorable, courages, compassionate, respectful, loyal, honest, and gracious than this. I have definitely obtained more of all of those virtues, the problem is that I didn’t start out as strong as I thought I had. Time and experience continue to show me how much virtue I lack. Not because I have lost any, but as I just said, I have gained a fair amount of all of them. But as I gain experience, and meet people who are better than myself, and get to know God and His goodness more, I see that my character at twenty was not as admirable as I had thought. And as I roll along in life I see more clearly the things that are still wrong with me. So, I do not think that I will leave this life feeling better about the man that I am, but will leave it with a clearer picture of who this man really is, and it won’t be a very pretty image. I suppose that sounds kind of depressing to most people, but it’s not to me. I never want to get to the point where I think I have “arrived”, because I am prone to seeing myself in a much better light than I ought to. And I never want to forget my need for improvement. And more importantly, I never want to forget my need for Jesus, who chose to die for this less than virtuous egotistical dimwit who will never be able to harness all of his shortcomings.
So I will keep staring into mirrors and try to find the next thing that needs to be improved…those damned mirrors.