As I was sitting in our Celebration Sunday service watching others be baptized my brain correlated dying to self to the transformation of the vampire. (I realize this is an odd revelation but don’t abandon me yet.)
One of my cinematic guilty pleasures is a vampire movie. If I am flipping through channels and see that Interview with a Vampire or Bram Stoker’s Dracula are on…I flip no further. I can’t explain why, especially since many, many vampire movies are just ridiculous. However, most of them reveal a struggle against the nature of the vampire and the humanity that remains – the concern for others and the need for love.
If you have ever watched “Interview with a Vampire” Louie’s transformation is painful. LeStat tells him it is just his body dying and goes on the explain about being a newborn vampire. I have been struggling the last couple of months. It has been the struggle where you pray and feel no dominion or power in your prayer. It’s been straining to hear God’s direction, but reverting to my plans to get through the crisis of the moment. Frankly, I am exhausted. I’m frustrated – I feel weak and I know that is not who I am. This weakness is manifesting in my spirit, my attitude and even in my body.
I was baptized back in May and if I pay attention it seems the obstacles have gotten higher and higher since then. Why? I am a new creation. This should not be happening to me. I am supposed to walk in dominion, health, moving from glory to glory…or should I? Perhaps I am still dying to self. I still have a tendency to plan before I pray. Maybe some of these closed doors I keep banging on are supposed to stay closed. Maybe I need to listen with my heart – maybe I just need to shut up, sitting in stillness in God’s presence.
No, I do not think becoming a Christian and becoming a vampire are related – but the image of dying to the physical self held me captive. For a fictional creature it is a one time event, for Christians we must commit daily to dying to ourselves. When we fully trust out Heavenly Father the process is far easier. When we fight to keep our own will and methods the process is much, much harder.
Today I am going to be my own version of the living dead – dead to self and alive in fellowship with Christ. I have to commit to doing this every day, starting now.