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The Enneagram 1's Magnum Opus

From infancy I've been creating this magnum opus. It is a template that shows me how much, how big, how loud, how bright, how heavy, and how often everyone and everything ought to be.

My experiences add more details so that it has become not only my glorious masterpiece but my life's compass. By it I know what is good, and by it I can declare that I am. It is the safeguard against judgement—those that would declare me selfish or lazy or unfeeling or wrong. It protects me and binds me. It is my safety net and my prison walls.

That is why I am so wound up. I am exhausted keeping step to the tick-tick of this metronome. That is why I can't sit peacefully in this mess. I see it all against this measuring stick, this definition of goodness, this cage.

Yes, yes, I hear what you're saying. I know God alone defines what is good. But it's not simply a matter of letting go and relaxing. I can't just scrap my life's work, you see. It is me. This template, these rules, this is how I acquit myself of blame. It is how I know I am any good.

Don't you see? If I were to give this up, I would have to accept the blame. And who can bear that? Who can take on the weight of their screw-ups and the pain of those they've hurt and the wrath of God? If I were to take that on, I would fall into the darkest of places, the most frightening of chasms, that place where I fall and hope someone else catches me.

Don't get me wrong. I know who's supposed to catch me. I know that God both defines what is good and then does it for me. I know that Jesus walked to the correct beat of God's metronome. He fit the template. He measured up.

But have mercy on me when I begin to judge and measure again. I am in and out of this prison every day because without my template I feel so exposed and unsafe. Every hour of everyday feels like I must cast myself down this chasm of saying I don't know what is right but God does. I am not enough but Christ in me is. He has taken my life's work and through His son's blood, made me His magnum opus.


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