Uh, it's not. And, it doesn't seem like this ought to be a hard concept, but....
We see things from our own eyes. We live OUR lives. We view things in relation to how they affect us.
And it takes practice and training and discipline to see outside ourselves. At least, I find.
It's quite easy to be selfless with one's children. Even, when learned, with one's spouse. Or feel compassion from afar for the suffering in the world when it is not exactly tangible.
But daily, to be a servant to all. To feel God's burdens. To not control all circumstances. To be tolerant when our plans are turned upside down by other's desires.
This is harder.
So, I've been asking myself, "Would this irritate me, if I realized that it wasn't all about me?" Would lines or crowds or lack of service or innocent requests bother me if I really digested the truth that in actuality, there are six billion people on this earth alone. I am only one of them. This is only one six billionth about me. I should make that my mantra.
It's about God.
And my life is to be hidden in Christ.
That one thought requires a life's worth of meditation.
I think a lot of people are afraid of God and of praying because they don't want to be told this. That it's not about them. That God may ask us to suffer for others. To feel other's pain. To sacrifice like He did. We never really know what we're getting into when we begin to pray and when we ask God to change us. And after praying certain things, and receiving certain answers, especially in relation to the burdens of others, I've been tempted to say to God, "I was just kidding. Leave me alone."
Emilie Griffin says, "Don't we know for a fact that people who begin by 'just praying' - without a particular aim in mind- wind up trudging of to missionary lands, entering monasteries, taking part in demonstrations, dedicating themselves to the poor and the sick?"
And finally, finally, pastors and a few Christian authors and others are beginning to get back to this. To get back to truth that we need to be sold out. That it's not about us! That it's not necessarily about the American Dream. Gasp. Or fame or recognition or riches or even maybe, happiness as we understand it.
I read somewhere recently the terrifying question, "What if God is calling you to obscurity?"
And I write things like this, that may incite, because I am feeling them. The pressure of these questions, these disturbing heart truths. Because I need to change more than any one I know. What if I am called to obscurity? What if God wakes me in the night to pray? What if God places a burden on me that crushes my insides? What if I really, really felt what He felt?
What if I just need to say yes to the simple request of a family member and have the heart of a servant? What if God says to me, "Lay down your life in the little ways. If you can't do this, how will I use you in the big ways? Can you be brave enough to pray for your heart to change, To be more like mine?"
This is what He asks of me. And it's heavy and difficult to receive. I feel convicted. Because I fall so short of being Christ like. The very minute I begin to think I have achieved anything like His mind, I will suddenly be shown another area where I have not given it all up.
Praying is scary business. When you ask, "God, change me," He might.