We’ve previously reviewed four books by James Rubart here: Rooms, The Book of Days, and The Chair. Recently James shared this story on his blog:
A man is enjoying watching a Seattle Mariners game when he finds himself thirsty and decides to get himself a Coke.
As he’s returning to this seat a few minutes later, he hears a voice cry out from high in the stands above him.
The man stops and squints into the seats with a frown on his face. A few seconds later, he resumes his path back to his seat when the same voice bellows again. “Hey, Tony! Up here!”
The man turns and glares for a moment at the spot the voice is coming from, then trudges on.
Not more than three seconds passes before the voice calls out a third time. “Tony! Hey, Tony!”
The man stops, turns, and shouts in the direction of the voice with full force, “My name’s not Tony!”
Part Joke, Part Sobering Truth
We smile when hearing this joke because of the absurdity of the situation, but there’s a bit of truth in there that gives me pause.
The man who bought the Coke has also bought into a deadly lie. He thinks he’s the person the voice high in the stands is calling for, because he thinks the world is all about him.
Can you relate? When we walk into a party or a group of friends who are we fixated on? Yep. Ourselves. We’re thinking about how we look (or don’t look). We’re wondering if people will be glad to see us, or give us a bored glance and go back to their conversations.
When we post on Facebook, are we hoping what we say will encourage someone, or are we more focused on how many likes we get?
I could go on, but I know you understand what I’m driving at.
Ignore the voice from high in the stands. The idea of life being about us is woven into our culture so deeply it’s paralyzing. Advertisers are masters at convincing the masses that life is about them.
But if we’ve surrendered our lives to Jesus, it’s not about us. It’s about others. It’s about walking into the party asking Jesus who we should love on. (Because beyond the brave faces, people are hurting all around us. They need the Life we carry.)
It’s called dying to self. And there is such freedom when we do.