I very much appreciated your essay. I have struggled with many battles in my life. Self-interests are the hardest things to overcome, in my opinion. The ablility to have the decision to follow one's own will and not God's will is probably the most difficult thing in my life. It is not easy to give up self. In the 1970's I read a book called "This Perfect Day" by Ira Levin, where the "members" of the "family" all worked for the common good of mankind. Of course, they were medicated and programmed, but it DID seem like a good working society, where people where indeed happy with life- and I envied that society, where one did not readily have an alternate provision. Now, even after giving my life to Jesus, I still feel like it would be better if I did not have the opportunity to "mess up" so many times- I can't trust myself to be what I know Christ wants me to be! I repent, yet like Paul, I still cannot help doing that what I don't want to do! And being so close to Christ's return, the more I want to be obedient. I want to have my lamps ready... anyway...thanks for the encouragement!