Thinking Out Loud

June 6, 2014

It’s All About Me!

Filed under: Humor, writing — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:15 am

James RubartWe’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.

“Hey, Tony!”

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.


Review: Rooms
Review: The Chair
Review: Book of Days
Review: Soul Gate


August 31, 2009

Inconsiderate: I, I, I, I, I, I, I

Filed under: Faith — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 6:35 pm

inconsiderate bumper stickerI’ve decided that the one word which best describes modern life is inconsiderate. People are not rude.   Rudeness implies intention.  Rudeness reflects lack of upbringing or refinement.

No, people just don’t think.   Well, that’s not true, they think a lot about themselves. What’s in it for me?   How does the affect me?   But they don’t think about anyone else.

They don’t think about the consequences their actions may have on others.   They may not even be aware that others exist.    They don’t think about the consequences their lack of actions may have on others.   The sins of omission.

They are the center of their universe.    They fritter away and Twitter away their lives with egocentric thoughts of:  “I am having a steak dinner;” “I am enjoying the new U2 album;” “I am getting a new Kia next week;” “I am joining the church basketball team this fall;” “I am hosting a small group this week;” “I feel I am becoming much more spiritual.”

Yeah.  The last one.   Don’t think so.   Yes it’s true, even Christians can be rather self centered.  It’s all I, I, I, I, I, I, I.


  • Will this affect someone else?
  • Will this disturb or annoy someone else?
  • Will this deny someone else this space; this resource; this peace?
  • Will this inconvenience someone else?
  • Will this disappoint or hurt someone else?
  • Will this cause someone else to fall?
  • Will this me-thing take time that should be spent on someone else?
  • Will this take money that ought to be given to someone else?
  • Will this distract me from my God-purpose?
  • Will this decision form a pattern leading to even more self-centered decisions?


August 21, 2009

Carlos Whitaker on Being “That” Person

Filed under: Christianity, Faith — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:15 pm

I originally posted this on February 3rd of this year, but I think it bears repeating.

Carlos Whittaker:

After standing in a room tonight with a hundred or so AMAZING people who all are “somebody”, I realized again…
It’s not who you know…It’s Who you serve.

At the end of the day it is not about getting “the deal”
At the end of the day it’s not about writing “the song”
At the end of the day it’s not about meeting “the man”
At the end of the day it’s not about your church hitting “that number”
At the end of the day it’s not about speaking at “the conference”
At the end of the day it’s not about writing “the book”
At the end of the day it’s not about losing “those pounds”
At the end of the day it’s not about being invited to “that party”
At the end of the day it’s not about being on “the list”
At the end of the day it’s not about opening for “that band”
At the end of the day it’s not about dating “that girl/guy”
At the end of the day it’s not about hitting “those stats”
At the end of the day it’s not about getting “that award”
At the end of the day it’s not about selling “that number of copies”
At the end of the day it’s not about creating “the perfect sermon series”
At the end of the day it’s not about solving “that problem”
At the end of the day it’s not about preaching “that message”
At the end of the day it’s not about shmoozing “those reps”
At the end of the day it’s not about everyone lifting “those hands”
At the end of the day it’s not about praying “that prayer”

All that crap is just crap.
It does not matter.
It is not your identity.
It will ALL go away.

But what will not go away is that moment that you stopped believing all your self righteous lies and found your identity in Christ alone.
Not the deal, the song, the man, that number, the conference, the book, those pounds, that party, the list, that band, that girl/guy, those stats, that award, that number of copies, the perfect sermon series, that problem, that message, those reps, those hands, or that prayer.

It is about Christ in you the hope of Glory.
So let’s make a deal.
For today, myself included, let’s not drop one name, not unless it’s His.

Carlos Whittaker blogs at Ragamuffin Soul. See this post here, or check out the rest of the blog with this link.

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