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Monday, December 2, 2013

It's All About Me... Yes Or No?

Do you have days when you just want everything to be about you? I think we all do that at one time or another. Young children are wired to only care about themselves, and we have to teach them to start caring about others, and teach them not to be selfish. I was a terribly selfish child. I was an only child, and I thought the world and everyone in it revolved around me, and if it didn't it should have. Thankfully I had people in my life that were willing to teach me to care for others, but it took awhile. Even then, God was putting people in my life to change me into a more caring person.

The most unselfish person I have ever known was my Dad. He was a humble, unassuming man, who lived to serve and take care of others. Of course he took care of his family, but he was always there for others too. Many nights after working a full day, if anyone called and needed something in regard to their life insurance (which is what he did) he went back out to see them. He didn't just sell insurance, he councieled his clients, he spent time with them to give them exactly what they needed, not just to make a sale. He selflessly gave up his evening if there was a need. He never gave thought as to what was easy or comfortable for him, it was what worked best for someone else. If a client was a farmer, and couldn't meet anywhere else, Dad would tromp out into the corn field to take care of his client's needs.

When he coached the Lutheran Hospital student nurses' basketball team, he wasn't just a coach. He was their father away from home, he was their mentor, he cared about each of them. If they had a problem, they knew they could call him anytime and he would do what he could. When my mother decided cooking was too difficult for her arthritis, he took her out to eat every single night. At home, he fixed breakfast and lunch, cleaned up, and then did a day's work. He did not enjoy eating out. After a long day, he longed to come home and rest and eat in his own home, but he gave that up for her. 

When I needed anything, he was there. He gave up many Saturdays to teach me to drive. He spent hours watching Dance recitals, Ice Skating Shows, and any other thing I wanted to try. I know there were times when all he wanted to do was read a book, watch a western, or a wrestling match on T.V. But instead he did what his family wanted. He loved working on his cars. He changed his own oil in our driveway, and even taught me about cars and how they run. That just made him happy. Then my mother decided that didn't look good and what would the neighbors think. So he quit what gave him pleasure, so she would be happy. He never complained, he never got mad about it, he just did what he had to, selflessly, and quietly.

God blessed me also with a husband that is a selfless example of putting his wants aside for others. He is a pastor, so there are many times he sacrifices his time and energy for those in need. He has made it a policy to keep his phone on 24/7, 365 days a year. He could just not answer after hours, or on his days off, but he won't. He is there at 2:00 in the morning, or any other time someone is in crisis. He will use his day off to visit hospitals, council, or pray with others. He too will eat out, or have food delivered that isn't on his diet, just because he knows it helps me. I have seen him get dressed at 3:00 in the morning to meet a family at the hospital. Yes that is his job, but even if it wasn't he would do no different. If someone needs something, he will work until he can find a way to help them. 

These men in my life are prime examples of my Lord and Savior, Jesus. Jesus of course was the ultimate, perfect example of selflessness. He left His heavenly throne, was born in a stable, and humbled himself every day on earth for us. He faced a cruel death, shed His blood, until there was no more, took the weight of all the sin past, present, and into forever, and did it no  matter what He may have felt as a human. He gave of His time to teach and bring God's word to the nations, got very little respect, and yet never once did what He wanted. He did what God, the Father wanted! Through Christ, I have learned to do for others too, but I am not consistent. I have the heart to take care of others, and to put their needs first, but I fall short. If I am tired, or in pain, or don't feel well, I put me first. Not so with my Dad and my husband. On the upside, after Jesus' example, and their example, I have a constant goal to aim for. I am still learning, and one day, I will be unselfish, and I will put everyone in my life first! Role models like I have are rare, but you may find some in your life too....if you just look around.