Monday, March 26, 2012

Getting Out of My Own Little World

Simone is a senior majoring in English and dance. She loves obnoxiously high heels, good books, and traveling. After graduation she hopes to dance professionally and continue to grow her photography business. 

In many ways the season of Lent is a period for reflection and self-examination.  We are encouraged to spend time in prayer and to make sacrifices in our personal lives - to examine our personal relationship with Christ and grow deeper in our faith lives.
There's much more to this period of preparation than mere self-examination however.  Lent is also a time for us to examine ourselves as Christians - not an easy task to say the least.
It's so very easy, especially in the context of life at Alma, to become self-absorbed. Between academics, clubs, sports, extracurriculars, jobs, and a thriving social life there's a lot to occupy one's attention. Every day brings a new set of responsibilities and challenges: more meetings, more to do, more stress, more, more, more. . . always more. Somewhere along the line remembering to look at the bigger picture tends to get lost in the shuffle.
Maybe you're like me, struggling to stay ahead, to stay positive, to figure out what comes next in life. Each morning I wake up thinking about myself (what's my schedule today, what do I have to do, where am I going to eat dinner) and go to bed in much the same fashion (how long can I sleep, what didn't I get done today, etc). Even much of my conversation with God centers around myself: Lord, help me with this. God, I could use this. Jesus, I'd really love this opportunity. Father, thank you for all the blessings in my life. It's basic human nature, and just like in the context of Lent, focus on self is not entirely negative.
But, it can't be everything.
Earlier this week my ipod began playing this song by Christian artist Matthew West, and the lyrics really hit home. Take a listen.
What if there’s a bigger picture?
Wow. Talk about a reality check. In the struggle and stress and daily routine of being a student, going to rehearsals, leading meetings, and trying to graduate and find a job, I'd become totally unaware of the fact that everything is so much bigger than me. Though it's discouraging to find yourself so out of touch, it's also an incredibly comforting to have a reminder that someone has better vision and a more wonderfully created plan than you or I could ever dream up.
So here's the challenge for us during this season of Lent - to remind ourselves that there is more than just what we see and worry about on a daily basis. Though it isn't always easy and sometimes we're dealing with things in our individual lives that seem to be more than we can handle, we have to strive to look beyond our own little worlds -- to see the bigger picture and address the larger needs in our community and world.  I hope, like me, you'll step forward to accept the challenge to the best of your ability; imagine the profound impact of many individuals seeking beyond themselves and beginning to create a world that includes more than just themselves. Imagine the potential if we could all even just begin to see as Christ does.  Then we'd be on our way to serving as true Christians.
Father break my heart for what breaks Yours
Give me open hands and open doors
Put Your Light in my eyes and let me see
That my own little world is not about me
Good luck - you'll be in my prayers.

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