Recently my daughter decided she wanted to be the center of attention when we had guests over. A natural actress, she thought this would be her perfect opportunity to show our guests her talent. She was dismayed to find out that our company had come to visit and catch up, not to be entertained. When I talked to her later about her need to perform, she shook her fists and said, “I just want to be the queen of the UNIVERSE!!” Silently I laughed and thought, “Well, sweetie, get in line because you are not the only one who wants to be the queen of the universe.” I may not say it, but often in my heart I act like I should be queen for the day too.
At the tender age of 8, Lydia was able to articulate what so many of us feel. Isn’t that true of all of us? It’s the reason we all sin. Our selfish sin natures tell us that it’s all about me. What I want is most important. The world should revolve around me. I should be the center of attention. It’s painful sometimes to realize the truth. The truth is it’s not about me. I am not the center of the universe. God is. It’s a lesson we learn over and over throughout our lives.
The truth is there is freedom in knowing that it’s not about me. I mean really…what if the world really was on my shoulders?? I would be completely crushed under the weight. Instead, when I do feel crushed by the world, I am not because God holds me up (2 Corinthians 4:8). Even though my selfish heart sometimes screams for attention, deep down I am relieved to know that I am not the center of the universe. That’s too big of a job for me.
Putting others before ourselves sets our hearts free to live the joyful abundant life Jesus longs for us to experience (John 15:5). When we focus on others, our problems don’t seem quite so big. The weight of the world gets smaller as we rightfully realize that we are not the center of the universe. We were never intended to be.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 NIV