In college I worked at a summer camp, where we served 2nd-5th graders in every capacity. All of these tasks were fun, but could also be draining. The community I gained at camp was one of the sweetest I have known, and I think that this is mostly due to the fact that we had such a common goal. That goal being to serve our campers and share the gospel.
The first few weeks of camp were like a honey moon phase in a relationship, as we labored alongside each other for the gospel by serving taco bar to 7 year olds for what seemed like the 3rd time in a week, but inevitably we would come to an impasse where our tasks no longer felt as purposeful. I had grown weary of constantly putting the needs of others above myself. It was in one of these moments when I spoke with a leader about my exhaustion when he reminded me, “Emma, It’s not about you.” The purpose of camp was not for me to have the best summer and glean all that I could, but it was so that my campers would come to know Christ by see us serving like him. This simple truth was applicable in the moment, but is something that can and should be applied to our ENTIRE lives.
Christ died so that we can be reconciled with him and walk in service of his kingdom. In that, he rearranges our purpose. My purpose is no longer to be self serving and look for ways to create more happiness in my circumstances on this Earth, but rather to live for God’s glory. This new identity brings us unimaginable freedom as we learn what it looks like to abandon our desires in pursuit of this higher calling that Christ has given us. There is a TRUE freedom in abandoning our selfish ambitions for the kingdom of God. When we learn to let go of our selfishness and take up the life and purpose that God has called us to our worldly circumstances are no longer the focus of our minds.
In Tim Keller’s book, The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness, he explains that true humility is not thinking more highly of oneself, nor to think so lowly of oneself to the point of self pity. This idea of self forgetfulness can be applied in regards to the way we walk with Christ. Our focus in following God should always be on HIM. The bible was written so that we may know him better and in turn be sanctified to reflect his son Jesus. Our main focus in walking with Christ is to worship God and consider how we are growing in our knowledge and love of him. In other words to keep the main thing the main thing.
It is easy to find ourselves lost in the woods of bettering ourselves through our relationships with Christ. This is our sanctification and is important, but it is NOT our priority. Our lives on this Earth have a divine purpose, to glorify God. Praise him for that! When we lose sight of this we can easily become self centered and self serving. If you find yourself in this place, trust me I’ve been there, take a moment to realign your heart and mind, and be sure to keep Christ at the center.