Originally published in the Vermilion Standard, here is my recent article: “Living Beyond Yourself.”
I have been fascinated with the recent public Charlie Sheen meltdown. The TV star whose self-inflated perception and worldview has, sadly, caused his own self-destruction. Charlie’s destructive spiral is the acute example of what we all struggle with and what is so prevalent and widespread in our society. In other words, we are all guilty, in some way, of drinking the proverbial Charlie Sheen self-importance Kool-Aid.
We, as a society, have a weird and addictive obsession with self. People, en masse, want to be famous, desire attention, obsess about what everyone else thinks of them, etc. Think for a moment of the many popular movies that are written around the fantastical idea that the world and everything/everyone we know, is all about us (The Matrix, Inception, Truman Show, etc. to name a few). Interestingly, the problem of “self” is not new but a part of our broken nature as human beings to desire to be the center of our own universes.
The fact is, the world doesn’t revolve around you, me or anyone else on this planet and the result of living this way, is horribly destructive. When we view ourselves as the center of our universe, we begin to see others not as human beings and equals but as pawns, tools, and objects to meet our own ends or pleasure.
The truth of our existence is that the universe doesn’t revolve around you, me or anyone else on this planet and this truth is actually something to celebrate, not mourn. The universe wasn’t created for your purposes and pleasure. Humanity doesn’t exist for its own selfish benefit but, along with all of creation, exists purely for the Glory of God. Accordingly, our lives should be seen as revolving around God and who He is. In fact, this is the command Jesus gave to sum up all the commands in the Bible: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and to love your neighbour as yourself. Our purpose, therefore, is about God and living beyond yourself.
Consequently, we need to realign our orbits. We are not, nor ever will be, the center of the universe – God, and God alone, is. We will never find meaning, purpose, or satisfaction without aligning ourselves around God.
What would it mean to live beyond yourself? To orbit your life around God and His purposes? What would it mean to serve others, not in order to gain God’s approval or merit (that would be selfish again), but simply out of your love for God and desire to love others as God commands?
What would it mean for you to live beyond yourself?