One of the things I love about being a writer is digging deep to give wisdom and meaning to my characters in dialog and action that's not trite or expressly something I would say or do.
While I'm pro life, I had to write convincing pro choice dialog for the book The Sweet By and By when my heroine was discussing why her Mama took her for an abortion an sixteen.
I am good at seeing multiple sides. Which is helpful yet frustrating.
Anyway, writing a scene yesterday, the heroine challenged the hero on being selfish. I can't remember what she said exactly at this moment but it sparked something in me.
Selfishness comes from what we want to do or be. Our desires and dreams energize our focus on self and where we want to go. We wind up comparing ourselves to others and feeling like failures for no good reason.
Perhaps a friend is a CEO for a major corporation while you're still at lower level management. Or another person you know started his own company but you're still working for "the man."
A friend is good with finances while you can't seem to save a quarter. So we get dissatisfied and grumble. We start to turn in and think of ourselves. If we don't succeed then we must be failing.
Selfishness is really about "me." And the "me world" is really rooted in fear and pride that I might just "lose myself and become nothing." That if I don't toot my own horn, chase my own dreams, do what I got to do, then I'll die in the dirt and no one will remember me.
This is why I follow Jesus. I can give of myself freely without losing myself. Granted, it's hard and I'm FAR from perfect but I don't have to toot my horn, He will.
If I focus on loving others, He will see to my needs. If I ask Him to increase in me so I can decrease, He'll accomplish the works of my hands.
See, we think if we surrender God automatically sits us on the bench. But the opposite is true. It's when we surrender, become selfless, He gives us a job to do and calls us into the game.
The best part? We don't have to worry about success or failure because He takes care of us. We don't have to worry about dying in the dust forgotten because He remembers us. We don't have to worry about leaving our mark in the world because this life is a vapor.
It's an internship for the Life to come. That is where we will really see and be rewarded. Did you work an internship in college? I did. A couple of them. I'm glad I did. Glad to have worked hard and earned a good grade, but it was not my ultimate career.
Can you imagine if I worked in internship with the force and drive of a forty year career?The intern people would throw a party when the school quarter ended. An internship is to die to self, to learn, to prepare for the work place.
That's this life. To die to self. To prepare and learn for the age to come.
Eternity is a long time to make up for anything you lost or didn't get in this short 70-80 year life.
Be selfless. Trust me, it will pay off in the eternal run!