Monday, August 20, 2007

"Maybe it's Not About You"

When I was attending my undergraduate university, our Inter-Varsity chapter had an expression that began, I think, with our chapter president (now my spouse) and became an unofficial motto of sorts: "Maybe it's not about you."

This phrase was an expression for those of us who grew up in the "me generation" and "greed is good" 1980s to remind ourselves that even though God made us and loved us, no, we were not the center of the universe.

Jesus said that whoever would follow him must pick up a cross and follow daily. I seem to recall passages in the Old Testament saying that the purpose of some prophecy was not for the people hearing it (who would be long dead at its fulfillment) but for those who came later, that they might know God was sovereign.

Today, the marketing/customer-service model is encroaching (if it hasn't already taken over) not just traditional capitalist businesses but churches, schools, and other groups that once focused on character and leadership formation by recognizing that participation in some communities required the subordination of the individual desires in some part to the good of the whole and to support a shared vision or mission.

In my university's faculty preplanning session we had a guest lecture and workshop on service-learning. It was encouraging to see some recognize that the integration of faith and learning can still recognize that not everything is about "me"--whether the me be the teacher, student, prophet, or lay person.

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