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Friday, September 29, 2017

There is more than me?

In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves. Don’t be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others too. (Philippians 2:3-4 ERV)
Okay, a moment for true confessions here. It is very hard being the caregiver to an elderly parent sometimes. There are just times when you want to have a little more sleep, get a little alone time or time with the girls, or opt for a bowl of cereal after a long day's work instead of cooking a meal. We all have these moments, whether we admit it or not, when we just want to ask, "What about me?" In those moments, it could just be God reminding us that not everything in life is about us! There are just times when life has to be about others.
It is so easy to consider our own needs, and even to drift into moments of complaining because they aren't being met as we think they should be. It is hard let go of what we think we "deserve" or should be given to us as a "courtesy" in life. As a new mother, I quickly learned sleep was never guaranteed. Babies have different schedules than ours! I also learned they don't care if it is dinner time for the rest of the family - when they want to eat, it is time to eat! As much as we might want to eat with the rest of the family, the tiny infant has needs that outweigh ours at that moment. It is hard to learn to let go of the things we believe to be our "rights", isn't it? 
By definition, a right is something "due to" someone because of some "claim" made to that "right". Many homes have a particular chair, maybe a recliner, which is "laid claim to" by one family member such as the father. That chair is referred to as "Dad's chair" and the rest of us in the family don't even think of sitting in the chair Dad has laid claim to. There are many "claims" laid in life, but none more important than the claim Christ laid for our lives. The truth is that Christ laid claim to us - at the point of the cross - and now he isn't willing to let anything or anyone else lay to claim to us!
This includes our desire to be in control, make selfish demands, or feel sorry for ourselves when our demands take backseat to another's. We may want a little more sleep, but the needs of another rise above that desire. We may want to enjoy a television show, but the earnest pleas of a small child, crayons and coloring book in hand beckon us to redirect our attention. We may want to shut out the day over a warm meal and relaxing bath, but the neighbor's flat tire or dead battery require some resource only we possess. Not all in life is going to be "fair" - nor is it going to cater to our desires. In fact, scripture reminds us to avoid too much of an "inward" focus because when we have one, those inwardly focused choices will be selfish, and selfish choices take us down a pathway of prideful decisions. Just sayin!