Maybe It’s Not All About Me

Maybe It’s Not All About Me

Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave. Matthew 20:26-27

In my first half-hearted attempt at recovery, if I wanted to keep my career, I had to go AA meetings, which I just didn’t feel were very helpful. I shared this with my sponsor, who encouraged me to look at it differently. Maybe it’s not all about what you’re getting out of it. Maybe it’s about simply being willing to share your experience for the newcomer. Get involved. Volunteer to set up or make coffee. Be of service to someone other than yourself. Do something for others and maybe you’ll find what you need.

That sounded dumb, so I didn’t do it. As soon as I could, I quit going to meetings and, of course, I relapsed not long after. In the epic disaster of my relapse – losing my job and nearly my marriage – I became anxious and obsessed about fixing everything immediately, only I couldn’t just fix everything right now. In tremendous anxiety about my condition, I remembered what I was told a few years previously. So, early on in my recovery this time, I began honestly trying to serve others. It was miraculous to feel that burden of anxiety lifted as I got out of my own head in service to those around me.

In today’s passage, Jesus insisted upon this attitude of service. In the story, the mother of the disciples James and John, asked Jesus to grant her sons positions of authority in his kingdom, which she imagined to be an earthly, political one. Jesus responded by teaching that it was the way of man to seek power over others. To truly be great in his kingdom, one needed to become a servant. They likely didn’t understand at the time, but Jesus spoke of his own purpose, to serve and die that we may be forgiven and restored to God.

Jesus insisted that it’s not all about me. I must be reminded of this often. It’s my nature to promote my self-interests, but that’s not been very helpful in my life. Pursuing me above all has proven to be the quickest path to misery. It’s only in choosing to be a servant that I obey Christ, getting out of my own way and finding faith, life, and recovery in the process.

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