It’s Not About You
For a while, this was a catch phrase, a book title, a useful reminder that became a cliche & thus lost some of its power. However, this is much more: it is a Main Thing To Remember. Scripture is full of stories of men and women of God who at important times put aside their self-concerns to do what was asked of them by God. To accomplish what God needed at the time, they set aside the plans they had and went with Him. Imagine the narrative if Solomon had asked God for riches, or if Samuel had not said, “Here I am” when God called to him in the night, or if Esther had not risked her life going before King Ahasuerus on behalf of the Jewish people. Each of these people, at least for one season, put themselves aside to serve the story God wanted to write with them.
As parents, we are called to make room in our lives for the stories God wants to write with our children. That often means answering one more question, helping draw one more picture, giving one more bedtime hug, postponing that last errand. All these little things our children ask for add up to one big question: “Do you love me more than you love yourself?” That is a question all children ask. When my perceived needs are at odds with my child’s perceived needs, do I brush hers away because they look smaller to me? They may appear large to her; she can’t have the same perspective as an adult can. Looking at things from my child’s point of view can be a humbling and life-changing exercise because it can reveal hidden pockets of selfishness in my plans or schedule. I need to remember that childhood was to be about them, not about me or my convenience. This is a defining test of parenthood.
As is the way of things, the more we lay aside our selfish desires, the easier it becomes. At some point they don’t seem as desirous; relationship with our children will grow and crowd out those things. It will become more important to blow my breath into their balloons and help stretch them to rise to the places God made them to fill.
As is the way of our sweet God, when this season passes (as they all do), you will find your giftings shaped by it, and there will be unanticipated use for things you laid aside before. God never wastes anything, especially a sacrifice. So as you evaluate what needs to be done each day, remember to write in pencil; your day is not about you & your purposes, but about how you can be used by God to make it about Him.
John 12:24,25 “....unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life [in this world] will lose it....”