The Center of Attention

Img_1583

There may be a thousand reasons why we may wish to be the center of
attention… but in fact we ARE the center of attention… we just
don’t always realize it.

For some it was a difficult, even violent childhood where the way to
get attention was to be rude, mean, throw your toys or in some way get
loud and act out until a parent or guardian just went off on you
somehow.

Others may have sat in corners crying and shaking, or hiding in
closets or perhaps doing all they could to avoid human contact though
it was exactly what they desperately wanted and needed.

My own life was laced with pain from my parent’s divorce and seeing
other marriage, engagement and friendship breakups all around me.

Little did I expect after I’d begun to follow Jesus that I’d see (and
experience on some levels) all of these myself- regardless of the
faith/belief/teaching/quality of the people or any other factor.

Then we have the many pressures in life: illness, financial, job and
other issues… really difficult people (or they are at least to us or
by our way of thinking and doing) and more seem to bring stress levels
to ever-higher peaks.

At such times we may want to sit in a room and BE the center, the main
attraction, The Person Who is Respected in that particular setting.

Some of us are so very self-centered, our thoughts so fully focused on
ourselves, our own feelings and desires that others in that time and
place are always second-class citizens. We may not want to think about
them or treat them that way, but we do- and often are so full of
self-interest we don’t even realize it.

I have done all this and had it done to me. Any of us can be a
negative, at times even toxic sort of person.

I’ve also been around (somewhat constantly) people who share the very same
maladies and in my own opinion the simple answer is “get over yourself”.

But here is a kinder, gentler way of saying it: if you and I looked up
and out, that is, at Jesus and others more often we’d likely feel and
even act a lot better than we do!

We have a loving, patient heavenly Father even when we are unloving
and impatient with both He and His children all around us.

Choosing to respect God and people, thinking of others “as better than
[our] yourselves” as the Word of God instructs us is a great healer
and deliverer.

Our habit patterns must be broken, changed, re-formed. We literally
need reformation!

To “Put on kindness, humility” as Paul writes in his letters is no
mere “put-on”! It is a way of thinking and acting, it is a way of
life.

This means the alpha male zips his lip and does NOT have to carry the
conversation in a room. It means the insecure woman does NOT have to
laugh at every coarse joke or be the “hottie” at every gathering. We
learn to be part but not dominating, we can truly find freedom in NOT
having to be the key entertainment in the moment!

Now this means in short, someone other than you or I will be getting
the attention. It means giving and not just taking. Its about sharing
rather than controlling. This can lead to interaction as opposed to
acting (as in being an “actor” who is always playing a role in order
to get the attention of others).

When Rick Warren says “It’s not about you” he couldn’t have been more correct!

Then the flip-side of this must be accented: Jesus DID come, live,
teach, apply the Word of God in all moments of His earthly ministry,
died and rose again… and is coming again… FOR YOU. YOU. You and I
already ARE the center of His attention.

Of course because we’re not taking responsible, personal steps to
listen to His Word, apply it, focus on Him and others over ourselves
we get caught in the endless vortex… down, down we go into even more
self-self-self.

Confused as to why we’re not getting the adrenaline rush we’re used to
getting we may even decide the answer is more self-centered behavior.
We fall into ever more acting for the crowd, “playing to the stands”
to curry favor, to get applause, to somehow get people to like us and
think well of us.

This is not only cheap and immature, it’s a spiritual and emotional
trap, a jail we’ve built for ourselves.

Interestingly enough, the answer to our insecurity is not getting more
spotlight… but rather less of it. It is about sharing, lifting
others up, helping to make THEM look good. It truly is more blessed to
give than receive though we don’t always like such a tactic. But this
is where the life of Jesus can change everything -if we let HIM direct
our thoughts, words and actions.

I speak as a musician who has often been the center of attention in a
room. Part of what I do to serve God and others but certainly to some
extent in order to counter-act my own temptation in this area is to
writing lyrics that focus on how others feel, what others need, to
express to the best of my ability how much God loves and desires to
include THEM.

In the process, my eyes get off of me… which is truly refreshing!

When I’m not the focus of me I likely end up giving my best service to
others. THEY get to BE the center of attention from time to time. They
get my ear and not just my mouth, my words. Learning to listen is
truly difficult when one wishes to be the center of attention.

The very thing we want is the very thing we must learn to give.

And yes, I’m talking to myself as I write this blog, I freely admit it.

May the Lord help you and I mature into far better listeners and
givers than we are at present.

There are plenty of people around us in deep need- and it’s -still-
“more blessed to give than to receive”!

Thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Center of Attention

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s