The top of Jungfrau…that was high on our list of things to do while in Switzerland. But we arrived at the
station for the train that would take us there only to find that a tunnel had collapsed, and nobody was going to the top of Jungfrau for an undetermined amount of time. This was somewhat disappointing to me because I had been rehearsing “The hills are alive with the sound of music” for days and figured the top of Jungfrau was going to be the ideal spot to unveil my musical masterpiece.
But I also knew that for my husband it was going to be a really big disappointment. He had been talking about this experience for weeks and this was our only opportunity on this trip to make it happen. But that’s not the stuff my husband is made of. Turns out he knew that Jungfrau in and of itself was not what he longed for most. It was only another sacred moment with God that he wanted, and if God wanted to show him something other than the top of Jungfrau, he was good with that too. God closed the tunnel, so He could open a door.
We took the train to the highest stop before the tunnel collapse. Then we spent a couple of hours hiking on Eiger. That’s right, I can truthfully say I’ve hiked on the legendary mountain of Eiger—okay yeah just the safe parts, but still... Turns out God was there too. We saw some beautiful things we wouldn’t have seen if we had spent the day riding to the top and looking around there.
You see, it wasn’t about where we ended up as much as how we ended up. When we keep our focus on God first, we see Him wherever we are. When we focus on ourselves--well it makes us a little short sighted. We miss the big picture because it's hard to see around ourselves.
The experience made me consider something else that has been bothering me lately. There is a popular phrase going around that says “it ain’t about me.” And that is true…it ain’t. It’s about the Kingdom of God. I know the sentiment is intended from the heart with good intentions, but it can’t accomplish what it hopes to.
Maybe it is just the word nerd coming out in me and no one else would notice this, but I’m a writer and analyzing words and the nuances of their meanings—the emotions they elicit—is what I do. And don’t even get me started on the significance of subtexting.
So when I hear or see the phrase “it ain’t about me,” I think about ME. It is not mentally or physically possible to do otherwise.
Saying it ain’t about me just turns my attention to... me. I may think of all the reasons why it isn’t about me, but me is still at the center of my thinking.
If you don’t believe me try it. Say the word me and see the first image that comes into your head. I bet it looks a lot like the person that stares back at you in the mirror every morning.
The result is different from when I say “it’s all about God.” Now I go straight to thinking about God, which I believe is the goal of the misguided saying. "It’s all about God" leads me to think about God and why it is all about Him. It leaves me out of the equation…where I belong.
We need to be careful of things that sound good on the surface but are really counterproductive. If “it ain’t about me” becomes our mantra, we’ll will be a bunch of well-meaning Christians running around with our attention focused on ourselves. And isn't this what the enemy longs for?
If, when we learned of the collapsed tunnel and subsequent change in our plans, we had said well it ain’t about me, I contend that we might have gone on to Eiger exactly as we did. But it would have been with a spirit of having to settle for something that wasn’t our choice. It isn’t about me and what I want, so I’ll just settle for this other thing because it is never about me or what I want or think.
Who wants to serve the Lord with that mentality? And I'm pretty sure the Lord doesn't want to be served with that mentality either.
What we focus on, what we allow to capture our attention, really does matter. And "ME" makes a pretty unproductive and unsatisfying topic to dwell on.
Try this…approach a task you don’t really want to do by telling yourself “it ain’t about me” and note how you feel. Now approach the task telling yourself “it’s all about God. ” How do you feel this time?
Well again, maybe it’s just me and an overly analytical mind. I’ll get off my soapbox now and go back to highlighting my thesaurus and analyzing all my conversations for subtext. Just had to get this off my chest because…
…thankfully it really is all about God.