It’s the season of beginnings – we call it Commencement. Young people are skipping down aisles, making grand speeches, listening to commencement speakers drone on about the prospects that await them and throwing their mortar boards into the air with glee. Most of them endure the moment of pageantry for the sake of proud parents and assorted other family members. The graduates just want to get on with their lives.
It used to be that Commencement exercises were reserved for college and high school graduates. At some point around the sixties (maybe earlier) graduation from junior high was added to the list. Today not only do children from K-5 march down the aisle, but there are graduation ceremonies from preschool, complete with cap and gowns. It’s a parent (and grandparent) thing.
David Brooks has written an interesting article in The New York Times about the future of today’s college graduates and the prospects that they face in life. In contrast to previous generations who marched out of ivory halls confident that they could make their mark on life, today’s graduates face a world of uncertainty and limited prospects. At the same time, this generation believes that the world owes them something. It’s not so much what they can do for others as it is what they can get for themselves. You can read his article here.
What initially struck me about Brooks’ article was the title; It’s Not About You. That’s a message that most young people don’t want to hear. Of course it’s about them. And it’s only about them. Since they were first born, life has been all about them. Brooks concluded his article with this perceptive statement: The purpose in life is not to find yourself. It’s to lose yourself.
That almost sounds like something straight out of the Bible. Matthew 10:39 says, He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. The purpose in life for the follower of Christ is to lose His life in the life of Christ. It’s to live your life for Him. It’s to realize that life is not about you – it’s about Him. But too many Christians are living life as if it’s all about them. They are not so different from today’s college graduates. We’ve forgotten the lesson Christ taught His disciples: If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? (Matthew 16:24-26).
The Christian life is not about getting – it’s about giving. It’s not about me – it’s about Him. It’s not about being served – it’s about serving. It’s not about what I can be – it’s about what He already is. It’s not about saving my life – it’s about losing my life.
To quote Brooks, It’s Not About You.
Stay in the Word