One of the things I have been learning lately, and one the hardest things I have ever learned, and will never stop learning, and probably never fully and completely learn is that it’s not about me. And it never is. And the more that I try to convince myself that it is and live in that mindset, the more unsatisfied and messed up I become.
I went to a college student christian conference in May and one of the points that the pastor kept trying to drive home was that even the Bible isn’t about us! We look at scripture and try to find what we can do, what we have done, how much help we are to God. Yes, it is true that God gave us His Word to teach us, direct us, and show us just how much He loves us, but every single thing in the Bible points back to HIM. To Jesus. To the reason we exist, and live, and breathe, and worship. Everything circles back to the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross and what He has done and how we will be able to spend the rest of eternity glorifying HIM.
Last week I volunteered as a leader/counselor/chaperone for a church camp the youth group at my church goes to. I went, honestly, at first somewhat reluctantly. I was taking a week off from work and my friends to go sweat and babysit some middle schoolers and high schoolers. I ended up being a leader for some rising 9th grade girls, and oh my, how the Lord blessed me and taught me. These girls came to camp to learn, and I came to serve. I ended up learning through serving, and it was one of the richest, most joyful, and most rewarding experiences I have ever had. These sweet girls welcomed me into their life and their questions and their feelings.
What I realized is this: I have been chasing after so many things for so long that are just about me. Even if the things I chase after are “good” things, they’re still for me, about me. I am already planning ahead for possible internships and travels abroad for next summer, but this past week made me switch gears. What are my motivations for that? What about these girls and so many others who need people to invest in their lives? What about the ministries that need college students to invest their time and resources? What about the non-profit organizations who need volunteers? What about the difference that I can make with the power of the Lord guiding me?
It’s not about me. I am on this planet in order to bring glory to Him, and Him alone.
And the devil tries to draw me away from that, to the vibrant colors and the glittering lights of my dreams that I so often make excuses for. Maybe sometimes I have these dreams and I try to convince myself they’re from the Lord because of how desperately I want them. But if I take myself out of the equation, what’s left? If I’m left with nothing, it’s a selfish endeavor, however hard that is to face. If I take myself out of the equation and I know that the Lord still remains and His work can be done, then I may be on to something.
I don’t know where I am going or what’s in store for me. I don’t know what the Lord has planned for me, and if I am being honest, it’s hard for me to remember that he has a plan for me at all. In these moments, I remember that it is not about me. I am simply granted the privilege of being part of the body of Christ, a part of the church, his hands and feet, and that he chose me to be someone in which he can work through. I have a mighty God who has a kingdom and will return to this earth one day to make it perfect. I exist to bring glory to my Creator, and that is the purpose of this life he has given.
words and photo by Sara Pritchard