I just finished a short read from the book, The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Tim Keller, and let me begin by saying—I am not a reader. I always try to be, but always end up getting to the second chapter and burying it in my pile of unfinished books. But this book wasn’t just another story for me.
It was a reality.
It made me realize a lot about life. Life is beautiful, it’s messy, it’s way too complicated, or sometimes too simple, but you learn a heck of lot from it. I’m going to jump right in by saying how crazy it is that I’ve been discovering how almost all of my anxious thoughts, deepest fears, and hidden worries are not coming from anyone or anything around me. They’re coming from one (or you could say two) things: me and my ego. I put unneeded pressure on myself to become someone I’m not, to worry about something I have no control over, and to obsess over situations that have simply already happened. If your’e anything like me, I say you grab a coffee and read on.
So why do we do this? Why do we set such high expectations for ourselves that we almost never can reach? If I took one thing out of Tim Keller’s book, it would be this one word.
We clearly think of ourselves as capable and mighty if we believe we can handle the amount of weight we put upon us. And don’t get me wrong—you are capable of many things! But not everything. Unless you’re wearing a cape and you can fly, then go you girl. If you trace back to the beginning of any problem, odds are you had a lot to do with how it all came to be. If you think about it, our thoughts and actions are almost always pertaining to ourselves. Whether it is comparing myself to squares on my feed or believing I can be the next Sigmund Freud, I am doing it not for the sake of others, but for the sake of bettering myself. And guess what? The bigger our ego, the smaller room we have for God.
The truth behind these things is that we will never be the person on our Insta feed or the hero of all problems. But we will always be purposeful. We are purposeful because of the Lord—and that alone means so much more than wearing a cape or taking artsy pictures. Jesus already told us it is finished when He laid down his life at the foot of the cross. He says He created our inmost being and knitted us together in our mother’s womb. He has set aside a purpose-filled plan for each and every one of His followers. His intentions were never to create a doubtful and distrustful child. His intentions were to create a fearful and wonderful human being.
When all is wrong and everything feels like its crumbling like a dry cookie, I challenge you to look more at what you and God are capable of doing, rather than what you alone are able to do. We were made to do life together, not apart. The less focus we put on ourselves, the more room we’ll leave for God. We alone are no where near perfect, but how sweet is it that He is?
“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” -C.S. Lewis
With so much love,