He must increase, but I must decrease. ~John 3:30
As I logged onto Facebook today, I discovered that blue is the color of awareness for prostate cancer. I then looked down and realized I had on a blue stripped shirt with blue jeans and my blue canvas shoes…
Blue for Prostates; Periwinkle for Stomachs; yellow equal signs for Human Rights; Teal for PTSD; Green for St. Patrick…
I will confess, I am confused by which color will bring awareness to which issue and am worried that I may make an unintentional political statement due to laundry day or sales at Old Navy. (Here is a website that tries to list them all; though it is written in Comic Sans so I am not sure how legitimate it is)
In our ever busy information laden world, we are scrambling for one-and-another’s attention. Distracted is the new adjective creating an epidemic to any action verb:
(The last of which I fell victim to in a very embarrassing fashion in the ladies room of the Charlotte Douglas Airport, but that is another story for another time.) We are so inattentive, that we are even starting self-awareness retreats like the growing trendiness of mindfulness.
What is essential to see is in our distracted culture we are scrambling for attention. Strangely though, these awareness campaigns dilute our ability to becoming aware of anything.
If we become aware of everything, we once again become aware of nothing.
For the Gospel does not call us to more self-awareness but self-forgetfulness. That is why John 3:30 has become a hallmark of prayer for me this summer: Less of me, more of Him.
In a great little book Tim Keller writes on The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness, he says:
“C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity makes a brilliant observation about gospel-humility at the very end of his chapter on pride. If we were to meet a truly humble person, Lewis says, we would never come away from meeting them thinking they were humble. They would not be always telling us they were a nobody (because a person who keeps saying they are a nobody is actually a self-obsessed person). The thing we would remember from meeting a truly gospel-humble person is how much they seemed to be totally interested in us. Because the essence of gospel-humilty is not unthinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less. Gospel-humility is not needing to think about myself.”
Through self-forgetfulness, we discover the power of listening, of asking questions, of empathy, and ultimately the freedom of thinking about myself less.
So in honor of Self-
awareness-Forgetfulness day, I am going to clip on a ribbon; an invisible ribbon of course.
How might you forget yourself and become more aware of Him in your life?