Maggot or Magnet...
Are you a magnet or a maggot?
In my last post this line surfaced as I stroked the keys of my computer and I haven't been able to shake this dog off my leg since. I'm in the people b'ness and I'm mesmerized by the various personality types and skill sets wound up with wounds and warts; winsomeness and wittiness. Unique as snowflakes, people descend upon you and land either softly or something akin to a golfball-size hailstone. I find a good many to land like hailstones--denting whatever/whoever happens to be unfortunate enough to be in their way...harm's way.
A magnet is a person who is attractive and attracting. There is something about them that seizes life without consuming it. When you're around them, you can't help but care what they think because they aren't blabbering idiots spouting off at the mouth whenever they get the chance. They weigh their words. They don't speak unless they have something to say. They listen to life as it happens around them and respond accordingly, appropriately. People seem to gather around them wherever they are. And here's the kicker, most of the time they are people who don't particularly like the attention. They aren't getting attention because of shock value or rock star appeal...their magnetic personality is hinged to something more substantive.
I've noticed that magnets have a few universal qualities:
- They are full of joy. They aren't down every time you turn around. They aren't Moody Judys or Downer Devins...they steward their emotions well. They aren't feigning joy by manipulating a mood of merriment, but when they are feeling low, their ambition is not to contaminate others around them with the same attitude. They are slow to share their disappointment and quick to hitch themselves to hope. Even when others ask about their "valley", they admit frailty and fragility and move the conversation to a place of God-dependence. Most of the time they are looking at the bright side instead of the blight side. They are "setting their affections on things above" instead of earthly things that change like the weather in Seattle.
- They are concerned with whoever happens to be around them. They aren't fishing for compliments or questions...they are fishing for men...like Jesus did. And you can't do both. When you fish for men, you gotta fish for men...cause people can tell when you're fishing for something else that smacks of neediness. They are always feeding people's spirits. This contagious spirit just draws people to them, cause it's a rare thing to find a person that isn't fishing for something when they're with you. They are fishers of men.
- They are ok with being alone. They don't need something to do all the time...they don't need to be around other people to feel a sense of significance. They have learned to love hanging out with themselves because they are actually "healthy". The main reason people don't like being alone is because they don't like hanging out with themselves. They are unnerved by what they see or sense in no time, so they busy themselves with trifles and trivialities to distract themselves from their own issues. But a person who is healthy actually enjoys spending time alone. They are fueled by the consecration of contemplation. They love themselves well...and that is why they love others so well. Remember, Jesus said, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." When you don't take care of yourself, you tend to treat others with the same neglect, or worse, abuse.
Maggots, however, are interested in one thing, and one thing alone: Feeding on things. They have no other purpose in life but to consume whatever comes close to them. They will eat through relationships at an alarming rate. They don't have eyes. They only have mouths. It's all about eating.
Maggots don't draw, they drain. If you have life, they will find you. And when they do they will attach their little lips to your vitals, and started eating you alive. At first you will willingly offer yourself to them thinking they they just want a piece of you, but they don't. They want the whole of you. The minute they sense you are catching on to their ploy, they will slink away and find another unsuspecting culprit. You want to warn them (the victim of their ravenous hunger that is), but you're so glad to have found freedom from the "maggot" that you see the other person as your surrogate sacrificial lamb--your scapegoat--so you let them find out for themselves the hell on earth that just moved into their "relational" neighborhood. This person (the maggot) doesn't get it. They don't know what they are doing...they don't have eyes, and I've learned something else...they don't have ears either. They only have taste buds. They know the taste of something that is alive. That's all. And they feed on life until it's on the brink of death as well. The person they are feeding on, the environment they are feeding on, will soon turn as cloudy white and tasteless as the maggot who is feeding upon them/it.
Maggots have these traits:
- Selfishness - It's always about them. "All roads lead to Maggot."
- Self-Consciousness - They think you're talking about them, thinking about them, etc.
- Self-Important - They have a vaunted sense of their own irresistible value.
- Self-Awarelessness (not a word) - They don't have the ability to see themselves.
- Self-Destructive - They continue to make decisions that plunge them into dissipation.
Families are full of maggots. Churches are full of maggots. (are they ever)
But families are also full of magnets. And churches, though they are few, have preciously beautiful and cherished souls who are magnets for the Kingdom-cause as well.
You only can become a magnet if you chose to, setting your every affection upon the goal of becoming a compelling agent of life-giving energy to those around you.
Being a maggot is easy. In fact, we are maggots by nature, that is to say, you don't have to try to be a maggot, just maintain a life of indecision. You will effortlessly start consuming life around you wherever you go. And you won't even know you're doing it. The only thing you might notice is that people are constantly looking for ways to get away from you. But you probably won't even notice that, because you have to have eyes and ears to get that kind of read.
Magnets and Maggots. Which one are you?
(Note: Ask someone else. Cause if you're a Maggot, you've already eaten away your conscience which is supposed to help you with something called "self-awareness". The first thing a Maggot does is eat its own conscience. You'll know that you've successfully eaten out your own conscience if this blog doesn't make any sense to you.)