His Space or Mine?
First, there was the frenzy to display the face on a virtual book. Then you had to be connected to everyone. Before too long, we were all staking out a little piece of virtual real estate as our space. I’m guilty of hours spent there, crafting witty sayings, fine tuning the “about me” section, updating my interests, wants, and desires. I announce to the world a play-by-play of my days’ activities and designate which friends are the most deserving of a top spot on the page that is my own.
How typically self-centered.
It’s not just limited to the virtual life either. In a fashion reminiscent of childhood, I pull out the chalk and designate what is mine, which hours of the day I have as my own, and which ones I will design to give to others. I listen to others only so I have the chance to be heard. I conduct a cost analysis on the benefit I receive from giving my time to this activity or that.
And it all centers around me, me, me.
I long to live my life dedicated to Him … for all these years in front of me to be given to Him. But hour by hour, decision by decision, I take it back and make it my own. I run in tight circles around myself and suddenly I’m in a heap, collapsed beneath the weight of self-consumption. So I lay everything at His feet—until I jump back up and take it back piece by piece. The only other constant in the rollercoaster of self-absorption and self-denial is dissatisfaction.
Of course. Of course I’m dissatisfied—and of course you are. Isn’t it amazing how we pin so much of our happiness and satisfaction on the one thing we know will always fail—our self?!! We will never be pretty enough, never be desired enough, never be popular enough, and just simply never have enough. Because we are not “it”. We are not what we want and we will never be what we desire.
Ever stood at a store display and marveled over an item? It’s so beautiful, so perfect, so everything. But when you bring it home, it’s so wrong—because the environment is different, the wall space is too big, and so on. It’s the same with your life. You and I were created—designed to belong fully to God. He has the right to us, to our lives. He made us. We will not and do not fit anywhere else. As A.W. Tozer said, “God being Who and What He is, and we being who and what we are, the only thinkable relation between us is one of full lordship on His part and complete submission on ours.”
As true as we know this to be, it doesn’t really sound like much fun. But we forget—we are not satisfied when it is all about us. We’ve seen the proof of the satisfaction found in Jesus. More than likely you have some evidence in your own life—perhaps a memory of a camp experience that faded too quickly or a role model who is devoted to Christ and is wildly content with Him. There is even more proof found in the Bible and the chronicles of history, as untold numbers have given their life for Jesus Christ because they discovered Him to be the ultimate addiction and the treasure without price.
You know what this looks like in everyday life? It means taking every situation and putting Christ first over self. It means pulling out the eraser, removing all the lines of self-ownership and throwing out the chalk. We’ll be different, that’s for sure. Our decisions and reasons and desires won’t look too much like the world. We’ll be His and will gain so much because of it—peace, happiness, and all the blessings and resources that come from belonging to Him. He takes care of His own. Again, Tozer speaks, “God was our original habitat and our hearts cannot but feel at home when they enter again that ancient and beautiful abode.” What an amazing opportunity. We can give Jesus—the Savior who gave His perfect self—our ugly, misshapen, tarnished selves; and He will make us a part of His beautiful design.
This life is officially designated His. There’s no space for me.