I admit it. I spend way too much time focused on myself. It's not okay, either.
The amount of time I spend thinking about my own issues, problems, complaints, and annoyances is a waste. That's not to say that ignoring them is the answer, no. Ignoring those things, especially the problems and issues, eventually causes a volcano-like eruption of anger and sadness that isn't good for anyone. We've got to start dealing with our stuff! What I'm saying is that I can get so micro-focused on my self for so long that I forget that there are truly needy people out in the world. I can get so caught up in my own bubble that the problems in the world don't exist anymore. Sometimes my own issues are bigger than everyone else's. It's a terribly selfish way to live. I don't think God has any patience for the pity parties I throw for myself (only on occasion!); He never joins in with me. And why should He? He sees the whole big picture that I cannot possibly see or understand. The point of this life is to live in fellowship with God and to live out my life serving Him. He made me with a much bigger purpose than worrying about how I look all the time. But I'm also human, and I do get caught up in all the worries and shallowness of the world. I have got to make the choice to live for God, and to live beyond all that stuff that bogs me down. He says in Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden; and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
He has made me with a specific purpose, has given me the gifts and tools I need to accomplish that purpose, and has asked me to walk beside Him. I just have to agree to do it, and so far I've been a touch reluctant to completely follow. It kind of goes back to the question "Is God a giver or a taker?". I don't know what my purpose it yet, I have not a clue the gifts He's given me to accomplish that purpose, but I do know one thing: I'm ready to find out. There is so much need in the world it's staggering. A book was recently recommended to me called "Kisses From Katie". It's about a young girl who decides to live out her purpose in Uganda helping people. At the age of 22, she had adopted 14 girls and was living out her purpose created in her by God. She doesn't consider herself a hero or a saint. She considers herself to be living out His will in her life. I read about how selfless people like her live their lives and it is in glaring contrast to how I live my own: comfortable, complacent, sacrificing nothing. And that's partly because I'm so blessed that I don't have to sacrifice anything. Fortunately for me, it's a choice, and I've not chosen to make as much of a sacrifice as I could. Jesus said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).
He it is that bears much fruit.
He asks us to bear His fruit. In Galatians, it gives some good examples of the fruit He's talking about: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control..." (5:22). It gives me a pretty good model to compare myself to, and as I compare and contrast, I see where I'm lacking. God's Word is the one place where I can compare myself. My "fruits" of worry, anxiety, fear and insecurity aren't at all what He has in mind. I am those things because I've taken my eyes off the One who can produce good fruit in me and have put my trust in things that will ultimately fail me. I need to take my focus off myself and put it on Him, because only then will I begin to find my identity and security.
By the way, I'm not suggesting that we all pack up tomorrow and move to the Sudan, or adopt 10 more kids. I'm only saying that I want to start doing more, and my start is by asking Him.