Editor’s Note: This is a guest submission by Rachel Erickson. Just read this one!!
My husband and I and our four kids live overseas in Indonesia as missionaries. Yesterday I was in the kitchen making breakfast when my husband asked for some papaya leaf tea. It is a tea we brew whenever we start to feel a sickness coming on. So I go to our papaya tree, pick a leaf, soak it in bleach water for 20 minutes, rinse it off, boil it for 20 minutes, drain it, pour it in a cup, mix it with some chocolate powder and stir it. Ta-da! Done. I set it on the counter for him. Later I noticed that he never drank it.
I got all upset and blew some steam as I declared my frustration to the entire family. There are many healthy ways I could have done this but I chose the “yell and spew” method.
After awhile, I sat down to do my devotions and was reading in Acts 1:24 where the eleven disciples were praying to God to show them what man should be the twelfth. Their prayer started out with this sentence-“Lord, you know everyone’s heart.”
I stopped. Those are powerful words. Everyone’s heart including mine. God knows my heart. And He knows all the angry words I proclaimed earlier. What is it with me? I seem to keep falling into the same ruts. And the ruts are deeply lined with one word- “Me. Me. Me.”
I sat there and recalled example after example where I clearly only thought of myself. Where I was pushing my agenda, declaring my thoughts and not giving consideration for anyone else.
I wish there was a plug to pull or a tab to open to deflate “self”. It’s big and bulky and takes over the room. Often it’s hard to see what else is around me because this large air-filled mass is floating by.
Oh. A kind word spoken in the corner. A struggling attempt by another to share their opinion. A forgotten soul alone at the table. I missed it all. Just pushing “me” into the room head first yelling, “Don’t miss me everybody. Don’t forget to stop and listen to my opinion. And make sure you work hard to do things my way. Because when it all comes down to it, I matter more than you.”
Seriously? Enough of that! Who died and left me in charge? Yeah, no one. It’s time to deflate this ego. Let the air out of this massive head. Stop walking into a room head first, or mouth first. I have importance, but I am not the most important. My opinion matters, but it’s not the only one that should be heard.
Removing this ego stacked air allows me more room for things like understanding and compassion, gentleness, and forgiveness. And a shift of perspective. It changes my inward focus upward. Instead of demanding attention on me, I can draw attention to Him. My inflated self- proclaiming mass can become an arrow pointing to the one that truly matters, the One who gives me importance.
The One, the only One, who is truly worth it.
My name is Rachel Erickson. My husband and I and our four children have been missionaries in Indonesia since 2007. We are Hostel parents for an International school in the area. My loves include cooking, gardening, reading, writing, all things family, and telling everyone that will listen what God is teaching me!