This past weekend, I took a group of teens and preteens to Montreat, NC for our Fall Retreat. The theme of this trip was “Transformed.” During our Saturday morning program, we talked about where our “center” is – that is, what the rest of us revolves around. To use a somewhat silly but somewhat common example, sometimes the center of a person lies in a sport. Everything they do revolves around a sport – making a team, staying on that team, and hopefully getting to a better team in the future. Sometimes everything revolves around a person – a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, child, etc.
I could use more examples here, but the point I’m trying to make is that in every situation but one, the nucleus of a person is tied to something that directly effects that person. If your world revolves around a sport, it’s not for the sake of the sport, it’s for your own sake. If it’s a person at your center, it’s tied to your relationship with that person. All of these things can be related to self.
I struggle with this. It’s really hard for me to take myself out of the focus. As I went through this past weekend, it was significantly easier to keep Jesus in the middle of everything. I mean, that’s what we were there for! But how do I (or we) do that on a daily basis, through the mundane tasks of everyday life?
I don’t have a concrete answer for this right now. But what I do know are three things that have helped keep me from putting total focus on things that make me happy.
- The hierarchy: Jesus first, others second, me last.
- The motto: Live with Christ in your heart, and His love as your motivation.
- The prayer. I’ve been using this prayer every morning this week, and it’s helped my days get off to a “right” start:
Lord, please rid me of my own self today and help me to remember that I should be serving you and you alone. Keep my eyes and my heart focused on the cross, and help me to be motivated by your love and not my own vain desires. Amen.
When you pray this week, I’d invite you to pray this same prayer. I’ve noticed that my motivations have been altered, and feel as though I’ve really furthered the Kingdom this week as a result.
Have a great, Christ-centered week!