Less Self-Centeredness, More Service
SELF-CENTERED. I hate people who are all abut themselves. The fact is though, we are all self centered. I am self-centered. We need to do more for others. I need to do more for others. I want to take myself to the next level though. I want to change my heart when it comes to these things. I read an article a few weeks ago. Sadly I don't remember where I found this article, or any other information other than the fact that I did read it. And you know, I don't even know if I remember the whole of the article. I read one line or paragraph, and it has stuck with me and I can't shake it out of my head, and it fits perfectly with today's challenge. On the blog series, 31 Days of Less & More, the challenge is to do something, anything to serve others. If you are like me, that part is kind of easy. Yes, I say easy and yet I still don't do it. But if I do it, it's not hard. But I need to go deeper. I need to change my HEART to serve others. Going back to this mystery article, it talked about having people over for dinner. I LOVE to have people over for dinner. What a great way to serve them. That is what I thought I was doing. I was serving others by taking the time to clean my house, and serve them a meal. It sounds good, doesn't it? Ok, but here's where my confession time comes in, and what the article made me think about. While I was serving my guests, I was hoping they were thinking, "Wow, She is an AMAZING cook, I wish I could cook like her", or I was hoping they were thinking, "Wow, I don't take the time to set the table AND She does and She has a kid, she is pretty darn amazing". I'm sure there were many other things I was hoping they were thinking. WOW! That is HARD to admit! Even in my serving, I am hoping that people will take time to PRAISE ME!!! Where is my heart of service with that? It's not. It's me outwardly serving so that people will notice ME! Yep, I am self-centered. WORSE than anyone I know! Also, in my serving others, I expect things to be perfect while my guests are here. So much so that while they are here, I'm in another world worried about this or that, and not truly enjoying my company or serving them with my love and friendship.
This then leads me to question, 'how do I change that?' Just SERVING others isn't going to take those thoughts away. I have been doing things to serve others for a long time. No, what I need to change is the root of my service. Do I serve people and purposely fail? No, that is not serving them. What I think I need to do is serve people when THEY need to be served, not when I want to serve them. So, when my house is a disaster and I don't have a 5 course meal planned, I need to call up a friend and invite them to come over to have frozen pizza with us and I'll poor them a big glass of wine, and myself some water, and we will sit and enjoy each others company. I know they won't be able to think about how awesome of a mom I am, because my child will probably be naked, my house will not be clean, my dishes will still be in a pile on the counter, laundry still in the baskets and my floor not swept, and they are eating frozen pizza, the easiest thing in the world to make! And no, this will not be how I serve people forever. I still would like to make a special meal to show someone how special they are to our family, and take the time to show them I care for them by cleaning my house first. But before I can get back to that state, I need to humble myself and serve people in my my lowliest state. Serve them, EVEN when I feel like I am not up to standards. And yes, there will always probably be a tinge of self-centeredness in my serving, but I hope that soon I won't be able to see this flaw as the bullet point to my service!
I will share a small snippet of me attempting to change my heart this morning. I view singing as a way to serve God and others. Sadly, I admit, that when I sing I often think about what other people are thinking about my voice. Usually I'm hoping they will think, 'Wow, she has an amazing voice'. (Wow, that is REALLY hard to put out into the open as I am quite ashamed of this...) Today as I was worshipping through song, I decided to sing praise to God without caring what people thought of my voice. And you know what, I sang loud and with meaning. And I squeaked when I hit high notes, and I had trouble hitting the low notes... but I didn't care if the people around me thought I was the worst singer they had ever heard or the best. I was lost in praising God with my voice, and didn't even think about the others around me! (except my son who was so cute dancing next to me, that I knew in his 20 month old self he was praising God the least selfishly of us all!) So, here is to a change of my heart. I hope that because of this I will be a better friend, daughter, sister, wife, mom, cousin, niece, god-daughter, granddaughter, stranger and acquaintance to all of you. And watch out, I may start calling you to LISTEN to how your day went and never even tell you about mine!!