Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Selfless Sacrifice

Oops. I have a blog, don't I? I'm sorry I've neglected you. Life's been busy. So much has been going on, and it's rather annoying and hard to deal with sometimes. Some of it has been nice, but it was kind of like the calm before the storm.

I've been trying to keep up with reading, so I've been reading My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. There is some GREAT stuff in there, a lot of which I haven't thought much about.

There are a few things that I haven't thought about before that now keeps coming up: selfishness, selflessness, and sacrifice. (Ooh, alliteration!) While selflessness and sacrifice go together, selfishness is the odd one out.

Selfishness is what prevents us from being selfless and being willing to sacrifice. It's taking ourselves into account first, which isn't what God commands us to do. Someone I know has said that there's a three-tier structure of how to think. God first, others second, self third. Last. On the bottom. Yeshua had to get on his hands and knees to wash his disciples feet. Servanthood (bahaha, more alliteration. You'll never get away from it!) is also part of being selfless and sacrificial. But just because you are willing to be a servant doesn't mean that you are one.

I got the opportunity to serve at a retreat center this past summer and it was amazing. I loved being with everyone there and doing everyday chores with them. I enjoyed the chores...until I got home and had to do dishes. I hate doing dishes. It takes forever because you have to clear the table, put stuff in the dishwasher, take care of the extra food, wash the pots and pans, sweep under the table, wash the counters and the table...there's just so much in relation to setting the table. I keep thinking of this as time that I could be better using by working on homework, writing, reading, learning music, playing piano, playing with my brothers, etc. It's all about me!

Well it's not. When has it been about me? Never. We might grow up believing it to an extent. I know a four-year-old who is the oldest in his family and he's spoiled on a few levels because his daddy especially, loved giving him treats and stuff. Then his little brother came along and he quickly learned he had to share attention, toys, (Mommy and Daddy) with this baby brother. He thinks he's the center of the universe. There is only ONE center of the universe, and that is God. But we don't often think that way. We're too wrapped up in our own little world where the weather is too cold, the food too bland, the house too frigid, the internet not working. At least we have sunlight, food, shelter, and even things that have become commodities - cell phones and computers. I know I take things for granted sometimes.

We keep forgetting about the selfless sacrifice that Yeshua made for us. Being selfish isn't His way. It's Satan's. "It's MINE!" I've heard more than once. Sadly, I hear similar words from myself. "You are my friend and nothing's going to change that," or "I got up early and showered for church and now we're not going." The second instance happened just this week. I wasn't thinking about the ramifications for my family. If I wanted to go to church so badly, I would have thought about helping the rest of the family get out of bed, ready for church, and breakfasted, I would have thought about the weather outside - cold and rainy, I would have thought about the rest of the day - Mom and Chad, my stepdad, going to a wedding that afternoon and my sister and I would watch our brothers. But no. I showered, got ready, and lay on my bed reading for an hour and didn't even come down until, as I later found out, after church started so there was absolutely no chance of going.

Selfish things. If I had been thinking about everyone else in my family, I would have remembered the wedding and the weather and that they would need help getting out the door anyway. If I thought more about my sister, maybe we wouldn't fight as much. If I wanted the best for her and tried to make them work.

Recently I've been thinking of this in terms of how I've been viewing life ahead of me. I've been so focused on "me" that I'm forgetting what I need to do know so that I can pour out to others in the future and not be so selfishly focused on me. Which means, now I need to sacrifice my desires and selflessly think of others. I need to consider them more often than myself and try to do the best for them.

Stop thinking selfishly. Start thinking of selfless sacrifices.