It's not about me
Photo: Myriam Zilles from Pixabay
How easily we look at the world from one perspective: our own.
Babies, of course, always have only one point of view –- theirs. Good moms tend to see the world from that same frame –- by choice or necessity. “I’ll do whatever my baby needs.”
Many of us adults have a tendency to move in that same self-centered direction hoping, even sometimes expecting, the world to bend to our wishes.
While many of the elders in our world may want that option, they often don’t have it.
We use print size that doesn’t accommodate increasing visual limitations. And what about our grocery stores? An older person who simply wants fresh berries, a loaf of bread, a quart of milk, and a box of tissue can make a quarter mile hike through a large store to fill her small basket with necessities. Sometimes even our church music is loud enough to hurt sensitive ears.
The world has suddenly offered us a new perspective. What if (except for the babies and their mamas, of course) we all considered the elderly first?
It’s hard to think of reasons to be grateful when a pandemic invades the world. Perhaps this is our time to take our eyes off us and lift the elderly to an elevated position?
In Max Lucado’s little book, It’s Not About Me, he poses an interesting question:
“Aren’t we all born with a default drive set on selfishness?”
If I am my high priority and you are yours, what hope do we have for living life well together?
Max then poses a dynamic shift: “The God-centered life works. And it rescues us from a life that doesn’t …. How can we be bumped off self-center?” He goes on to suggest that we move from ME focus to GOD focus by pondering Him.
And that always leads to loving more, doesn’t it? The Holy Spirit’s love flowing through us empowers us to take a vulnerable look at:
“Love is patient and kind…
It does not demand its own way.”
I CORINTHIANS 13:4-5
I am forced to step into the middle of these thoughts today. Two great loves in my life are my Mom who is 95 and her friend, Ruthie, who is 97. They live in a retirement home, making any necessary contact from me also a threat to many others.
I’ve had to ask myself if I’m doing all I can to stay healthy in case they would urgently need me in the days and months ahead.
In quieting myself to reflect on how much I love Mom and Ruthie, I’m finding it easier to decline dinner with a friend who could expose me to a virus and thus endanger them.
By God grace I’m able to bravely say “no thanks” to my momentary happiness in order to focus on the needs of others.
And I wonder if considering the elderly and the fragile as our national focus might follow us long after this virus has passed.
I think I’ve found a reason to be grateful even in this hard time.
Pull up a chair and sit still
Photo: Sabine van Erp from Pixabay
The experts are asking us to think about the elderly and the medically fragile as we plan our days. What changes are you willing to make for the sake of loving others more than yourself?
I know. It’s a stretch for me, too.