My birthday will soon be here and just happens to coincide with another little holiday called Independence Day. Most of us more fondly refer to it as the 4th of July. I can remember as a little person probably around the age of 5, feeling rather impressed with the big deal so many people made about my birthday! I mean, a lot of people were in on it and not just my family either. The neighbors, the whole community, people on TV, my birthday was kind of a big deal! People would celebrate my special day with BBQ’s, picnics, parades and even fireworks. I didn’t really care for that part so much, so I stayed inside the house with my grandparent’s dog Gizmo, but I thought it was really cool they blew up stuff on my account, cause no one else I knew got that on their birthday.
I’m not exactly sure when it happened, when I was enlightened to the fact that the celebrations weren’t in my honor. That in fact it had nothing to do with me and a lot to do with some federal holiday called Independence Day, something about parting ways with Great Britain and a declaration of independence and well, what I painfully realized is, it’s not about me!
I wish I could tell you friend that this birthday lesson was the first and only I needed on this subject of “life is not about me”, but the true story is this, I have required frequent life long reminders. You see my “me” side is very strong. It is quite demanding and it can throw an all out fit when it doesn’t get what it wants. I want so badly to say that as I turn 40 something, I have it mastered, but I don’t. If anything, I am more keenly aware today, more than ever, on just how “me” centered I can be. I want it to go my way, I want the credit, I want it easy, I want to feel good, I want the desired outcome, I want, what I want and when I want it, thank you very much!
Now I could be rather frustrated with myself (and have been frequently and often) and the fact that I have not attained Mother Theresa like selflessness thus far in life, however, that would just waste more precious time, there was only one her, there’s only one me and there’s only one you.
Here is what I want to focus on as my birthday is quickly approaching…God who taught me lessons at age 5 continues to teach me lessons today. No matter how many times I try to make it about me instead of making it about Him or others, He continues to love me, extend grace to me and give me another opportunity to grow. I am most like Him when I serve, when I take the road less traveled, when I take the high road, when I apologize first, when I give without expectation. He is teaching me that the times when I become less, when I am weak, that’s when I really let Him shine! It is through His patience to me and His kindness that I can be courageous enough to be real, even if its ugly, cause He loves me and that’s what it’s about.
Loving Him, Loving others, that’s what it’s about. It’s simple really, but extremely difficult to live out with “ME” hanging around. “Less of me, more of You Lord”, sounds like a good birthday prayer or every day kinda prayer for that matter. I have a feeling I’ll be working on this birthday lesson as long as the Lord gives me birthdays 🙂