Sitting outside and reading is one of my favorite things to do. There is a park near my house with two bridges that go over a small pond. The views and outdoor time is rejuvenating. I’ll enjoy a walk, and at the end, simply sit down and relax by reading. Often, I’ll read a chapter from Proverbs. I also enjoy reading articles from a variety of writers.
During my prayer time as I walk, I frequently ask, “Lord, how can I be more like you?” Several times, the Bible verse that has come to my mind has been a Scripture I was taught during summer camp as a child. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) I reflected on my life and noticed that I was seeking daily what mattered to me—not what mattered to God. This was particularly true after a busy day. I’d scan over my activities from that day and pray, “Lord, forgive me for forgetting what matters most—and that’s what matters to You. Give me ears to hear, eyes to see, and a heart to respond.” The truth is, sometimes I can live selfishly by thinking I am more important than others, and I need to ask God to help me on this journey.
On several occasions, I remember opening my Bible to Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” I understand this and want this, however, my heart and mind don’t always obey His Word. What clarified what I should be doing was the very next verse. “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4) That was the focus I needed!
Maybe my issue with selfishness comes as a surprise to you since I serve people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic each day. The problem is sometimes “why” I do what I do. Do I serve because it makes me feel important, or because of how much it helps others?
One day, sitting outside at the park, I came across an article on how to have endless happiness. I was fascinated. Immediately, all my selfishness came back to a higher level, and I began to think about me, me, me…until I arrived near the end of the article and it shared how greater happiness comes from being happy for other people. I then made a commitment to celebrate others more.
Now, at 7:00 a.m. each day, a reminder goes off on my phone with the question, “Who will you celebrate today?” Typically, I would see others and what I needed. Now, I see others and how God is working through them. It inspired me to celebrate.
Who can you celebrate today? Who will you celebrate tomorrow? This daily journey becomes an endless source of happiness. 1 Peter 3:8 says, “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” Let’s go celebrate! God is at work through us as we surrender to Him.