By Gary Miller
In the past few weeks I’ve traveled to Texas and Missouri to talk to the turkeys and to hang around friends. It seems, this year, I’ve mostly been more interested in the friend part than the turkey part. I shot a big hog in Texas, but really didn’t push the turkey thing. I was satisfied to watch some newcomers to the turkey hunting scene, try their hand at these elusive birds. And I’m actually still in Missouri while I’m writing this article. I’m not sure what the next two mornings will hold, but I’m satisfied with great food, great scenery, and great conversation. I have already stamped this trip as a success. And success is always good – especially when I get to determine what success is. And it is always changing.
When I was a new hunter, success was nearly always measured by whether I was bringing home the meat. When that was the goal, it was easy to overlook and overstep others. The “who” didn’t matter because the goal was a “what.” I noticed when the goal was a “what,” I became very self-centered. After all, it’s my desire, my goal, my pursuit, and my purpose. It all sounded good from a distance until I discovered that the common thread in all of these things is me, my, and mine. Then it seems terribly base. After all, most of the time, the people we dislike the most are those who are constantly putting themselves first. After thinking about it, however, we actually just dislike those who are blatant in their self-centeredness. But as long as we use certain words, we seem to be okay. Think about this. How often have you said one of these phrases? “I’m just too bad.” “I just can’t live it.” “I need to find my purpose.” “I don’t want to be a hypocrite.” “I was hurt.” “I’m trying to find my gift.” Do you see a common thread? Yes, you do.
And if you are a Christian, it is antithetical of Jesus’ desire for you. Actually, the “me” in Christianity is non-existent. It’s not about you or even about God (He really doesn’t need anything). It’s all about others. It’s all about the “who” and not the “what.” I really don’t know how we messed it up. After all, the scriptures make it pretty clear. We are to love God with all our heart and our neighbor as our self. So, you see, there’s really no room for our me, my, or mine. And that’s good news. Not only does it mean that God knows how incapable we really are; He just wants us to love all the other incapable people, just as they are. Don’t make it more than it is. When you do, you will always find yourself easing back in to the me, my, and mine.
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Gary Miller can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org