Imagine if you could order a life transformation as if you were going through a fast-food drive through window. “Hello, I’ll take a number 7. Yes, that’s the profound life experience with an order of fries. Extra ketchup, please.” A few weeks ago, I was hoping it would be that easy when I sat down with my good friend Gilles. Before I go any further, let me just say that Gilles is beyond wise, kind, profound, an intellectual giant and is also an amazing listener.
Our time together included some honest, yet tough discussions about obstacles I had encountered in a few recent situations. Gilles just smiled when I got to the end of my stories (i.e. issues/problems/road blocks) because he could easily pinpoint what was going on. It turns out I wasn’t really facing obstacles at all, but life challenges that were complicated because my EGO jumped in and refused to get out of the way.
“Ego?” I repeated to Gilles. “That’s my issue. Come on!”
“Yeah, Scott,” he said. “Have you ever heard the definition of EGO as an acronym?”
I shook my head as in “no, but hit me with it.” It turns out he hit me over the head with something I will never forget — and now I hope you will take it to heart.
Gilles just laughed and said, “Ego is simply Edging God Out.”
Stopping for a moment, I let it sink in because Gilles was (and usually is) right. Ego really is just edging God out of the situation to the point where you’re sure that you can go it alone because we’re so smart. Right? Or should I say that our ego tells us that we’re always right. Think of it another way: When we are in EGO, we are putting ourselves first to such an extent that we actually block any and all guidance that is being sent our way from up above. It’s like we’re putting up a shield to God and edging him out of the picture. Why? Our EGO tells us that we know better.
Of course, that’s ludicrous thinking. How could we possibly know better than God? It’s impossible. But God is patient in that He allows us to play our little EGO games and then waits for us to take down the shield, edge Him back in and get out the way. It is only in those moments that we have true life transformations.
Isn’t this an outstanding revelation?
At that moment, I knew for about the millionth time in my life that I was a lucky man because I was fortunate enough to learn lessons that were important and life changing.
“Knock on wood that I allow my lessons to sink in,” I told Gilles who only smiled. (As far as EGO goes now, I’ve vowed to take the shields down and continue to grow as God has intended.)
“Hey Scott,” said Gilles, who wasn’t finished with me yet. “Are you wondering now where knock on wood saying came from in the first place?”
Actually, I was curious, but couldn’t believe I was getting two big lessons for the price of one talk. Just like those fast food places, Gilles was about to Super Size this lesson.
“In my hometown in Canada,” Gilles began, “it was common knowledge that when you say ‘touch wood’ or ‘knock on wood’ that it refers to touching or knocking on the cross of Jesus for continued guidance and support.”
Pause for a moment and take that one again. Again, it was another bells and whistles moment for me. I hope it serves the same for you during this wonderful holiday weekend of Easter.
Think about these things over the next several days. Know that it’s beyond helpful to have a love of the spiritual overtones of life. In the toughest of times, both personally and when it comes to work, you should always edge God in.
Who better to ride shotgun with you?