This picture cracks me up every time I see it; there’s just so much to look at!
I always find myself emotionally somewhere between the kid in the middle, who looks to me as though he’s thinking “are we done yet?” and the kid next to him, covering his eyes saying “don’t look at me!” I am never the one boldly saying “Here I am; take my picture!”
While I’m usually ready to throw on my cape and save someone else, I don’t consider myself very hero-y. I’m willing to throw myself on the grenade and take the place of someone else; I long to be the martyr. I long for others to know of my sacrifice so I can feel special, important, and successful.
A couple weeks ago, a friend asked me to something for her. This ask wasn’t that big of a deal, but immediately when it was presented, my selfish self flared up and stamped her little feet. I didn’t want to do it and, though I was willing to do so, I had to let her know my displeasure at the task. Instead of stepping up and gladly saying “sure, I’ll help you out,” I let her know what an imposition it was. “If you need me to, I will.”
After that interaction, I began thinking about how I respond to requests. I have developed the habit of letting my inconvenience be known so then I can step up and “save the day”.
I hate driving, but I’ll come your way.
I have to rearrange my schedule but I can make it work.
That’s not my favorite, but I can help.
If you need me to, I can.
While honestly expressing yourself is paramount in any relationship, I realized what I was doing was the result of an unhealthy habit. I wasn’t trying to be honest in my expression, but was doing it so that I could make myself seem more important. I was trying to position myself as the hero.
This is not a fun realization to come to, but it’s one that I’m thankful for. I’m not the hero, I’m not the one who swoops in to save the day. I am, in fact, the one who needs saving. This has been such a sweet reminder of the fact that God is the hero of the story, not me. I’m not the savior, I can never hope to be the savior, and that’s okay. There’s such freedom in the knowledge and assurance of this fact. While I can help people, I can serve others, I can do my best to love them, I’m not the savior and that’s okay.
I’m learning that love selflessly serves without focusing on cost or imposition. I have a long way to go in learning how to love and serve well, but with God as my master and teacher I’m in very capable hands. I can choose to put away my cape and mask and just be me because, with God, that’s more than enough.
To go deeper: Read WTML: Free of Me