How selfish are you?

Most of us don’t think we’re selfish do we? Just like no one ever says they are a bad driver πŸ˜‰

Facebook is flooded with ‘positive’ self help messages and I expressed my opinion on them in this post.

Once again, I find myself irritated by them and muttering all sorts of replies and rebuttals to their inane ‘wisdom’. You see, to me, they are all so selfish. So entirely self focused and self serving. If someone does you wrong, cease all communication. If someone gets angry at you, it’s their problem. If people don’t make you feel happy, then find people who do. Me, me, me.

Now, like I said at the beginning, we don’t think we’re selfish. No, quite the opposite. We see ourselves as generous, loving, and self sacrificing. Mmmmm, the reality is a little different, I think.

I caught the end of one of my favourite movies, The Book of Eli, the other night, thanks to a bout of insomnia, and saw the part when Eli answers the question about what’s so special about the book (for those who haven’t seen the movie, the book is the bible). His answer is simple yet profound.

Do more for others than for yourself.

It’s just another way of saying love people. Really, really love people. Love them more than yourself. Love them more than is sensible. Love them when other people tell you you shouldn’t. Love them when it’s hard. Love them and don’t stop.

Jesus said it way before the scriptwriter of The Book of Eli did, yet we still can’t grasp this truth.

And you want to know why? We’re hearing the words but refusing to know the first one who said them. Because, it’s hard to not be selfish, we need something, someOne, outside ourselves. I know I do. I know that without outside help, I am selfish. Even when I think I’m not, I know I am. And you are too if you’re honest.

And in the meantime, I’ll try to love those who write those ridiculous sayings that get plastered all over my facebook newsfeed everyday. I’m not saying I’ll succeed, mind you, but I will try!

Shooting stars

Star trails

Last night there was apparently a meteor shower with estimated meteors flying through the air at a rate of up to 25-40 an hour.

There are three people in our house who have more than a passing interest in all things ‘night sky-ish’ (can you guess which one of us is the odd one out??), so when this long awaited night arrived, of course we had to go out, way past bed time, to look.

We had been at a party, so at least I was already out and about and not in my trackie dacks by the fire. We drove for hoooooouuuuuuurrrrrrrrs on back country roads that were covered in the sort of saturating black you only find in the country, were waved at by a strange man who suddenly appeared in our headlights and finally arrived at what was deemed a suitable location to stare into the sky ad infinitum.

And it was lovely, although I did complain about the cold and that I needed to use the amenities, of which there was only the ‘behind a stump’ variety. Naturally, I held it.

So we stood and stared up into the starry sky, chatting about this and that and me, getting a bit bored, accidentally scared the smallest child with the simple question “What would you do if a UFO landed in that paddock right there?” (Those not scared answered that we would hop aboard!)

Now one thing you must know – I have never seen a shooting star (yes, I’m aware they are really meteors and not stars – I do know that much!) and neither had the ten-year-old-scared-of-UFO’s-daughter.

One by one there were cries of ‘I just saw one!’ and, rudely, even ‘I saw another one!’

Everyone saw one but me. I was told to look over this side, no, now that side, Β and it was described again in detail exactly what I should be looking for because, really, the concept of a bright light moving across your field of vision is tricky to grasp. And when all that failed, I was told in a I’m-so-disappointed-in-you tone by my youngest that I just wasn’t believing it enough, implying my ability to see magic was seriously flawed.

Dejected, ridiculed, shunned, spat upon…okay, probably just dejectedly, I got back in the car and tried to be happy for those who ‘believed’ enough and had seen a shooting star.

It was on the trip home that it hit me.

Of course I’ve seen shooting stars!

I see a shooting star every time my daughter tells me she played with the person no one likes at school or spends her pocket money on Destiny Rescue jewellery because she gets that she’s supporting them.

I see a shooting star every time my teenager’s eyes well with tears when talking about the girls in Thailand or when she sees a need and meets it, quietly with no fanfare and expecting no thanks.

I see a shooting star every time my son shows integrity in the face of a difficult situation or listens and supports a friend going through a tough time.

I see shooting stars all around me. I just didn’t recognise them for what they are until now.

And I’m happy if they’re the ‘only’ shooting stars I ever see πŸ™‚

 

What’s your name?

The other day we purchased a gift for our niece’s upcoming wedding from the bridal registry. The lady who served us asked for my name ‘for their internal records’. I gave it to her, at which she looked at me and then, looking back at her screen said “Oh, I’ll just put Susan.”

Now, I have always had a ‘thing’ about being called the wrong name. Yes, yes, I know that Susannah is close to Susan, Suzanne, Sue etc so I shouldn’t get too upset but, I must confess, it bugs me. To me, calling me Susan is the same as calling me Mary – it’s not my name!

That day though, I just smiled at the lady as my husband looked on in astonishment and disbelief that I hadn’t corrected her. So, there you go – proof that I’ve grown as a person!

Our names are important, aren’t they? Our identity is all wrapped up in the one word that people know us by.

Some people are great at remembering other people’s names. Some people are useless at it. And it effects how we feel about them, doesn’t it? We’ve all experienced that flush of pleasure when someone remembers our name, even after just one meeting. And we’ve all felt the embarrassment and awkwardness when someone we’ve met several times can’t remember who we are.

And that’s the thing isn’t it? It isn’t that they remember our name, it’s that they remember us! It’s not that they have forgotten our name, it’s that feeling that we weren’t important enough to remember.

In a crowded world, where we can meet countless different people regularly, it’s easy to feel ‘forgettable’ and unimportant.

There is Someone though, who never forgets our name; who calls us by our name constantly and consistently. And that’s because He remember us, He knows us. And He would never forget our name or who we are.

I know that no matter how many different variations of my name I am called, He knows what it really is, and I am more than okay with that πŸ™‚