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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Vision (08/03/06)

TITLE: Me-Centered? Me Think Not
By Joanne Malley


Me-Centered? Me Think Not


GIMME…I want that!

It’s brand new. Pretty. Shiny.

It has fun gadgets, goes faster than mine and is so much better. It’s more expensive and it’s BIGGER.

How come he’s got one and I don’t? People will want to play with him and not me. People will notice him and overlook me!

I want it…and I want it NOW!

Sound familiar?

It’s a five-year-old having a tantrum over a toy he wants, right? Well, yes…and no.

It’s your neighbor and he’s not five, he’s forty-five. But, since he’s so mature, he wouldn’t dare be seen in public with the smoke of jealousy coming out of his ears and a face so red it borders on explosive. Instead, he silently and privately wants to be the neighbor who’s getting all the attention over a hunk of $45,000 metal. He wants to be noticed. He wants to shine like that sleek paint job. He wants all eyes on him.

C’mon. Give him some credit. He’s smart enough to hide his self-centeredness and greed. He wouldn’t dare let you see it. He’s also smart enough to hide his vision…the one that’s in front of us all. It often leads our way and it fuels us. It’s a vision we shouldn’t follow.

It’s ourselves.

We’re more often than not just a short step ahead of ourselves wherever we go. We like it that way since that’s where we like our focus to be. We love following ourselves. We enjoy looking at ourselves and we love being in the forefront receiving the glory. After all, don’t the books tell us we have the power? We can do it all? We can make it happen? We’re the most important?

As we lead as well as follow, we often march to the song our voice sings, “It’s all about me.” Sadly, we trust in the wrong leader and we follow nothing but a clueless guide.

Although we don’t want to admit it, we know too well what the heat of the smoke feels like and that the burn of the red flesh stings. In our quest for attention, we’re blinded to what we should want. Unfortunately, we often don’t want what we really need.

What do we do to switch the focus? What should we see? Where should we look?

It’s simple, and so is its design.

A crossbeam and a vertical plank is all we need to bring it all into focus. Stare at it. Dare to touch it and your focus will surely change.

So will your life.

You see…it’s not about us…it’s all about Him. He came so we can see without distortion. He came so we can see who we are and who He is.

The question is…are we willing to divert our eyes for good or just pretend to do so once in a while for appearances sake?

To correct our vision, we need the Doctor or else we can don a pair of glasses for a quick fix. But, guess what? Another human who’s a sinner crafted those glasses, and even though we think he’s trying to help, he can make our vision worse. Why would we go to another sinner to help us see if he’s totally blind as well? Why would we depend on ourselves?

If we trust in the right Doctor and His spiritual corrective surgery, we can focus on selflessness instead of selfishness. We can see love instead of hate; we can have peace instead of turmoil, and know forgiveness instead of sin.

We can now look at the crossbeam and horizontal plank and see more than wood. We can see a man with a clear vision who chose to drag himself up a hill despite the droplets of blood that trickled into his eyes and the pain that scorched his every step. We can see a man who came to give us sight. We can see a man who wasn’t only human - he’s our God. Most importantly, we can see our God who can save us from ourselves.

Let’s step down from the stage. We don’t belong there.

Now, look front and center stage with your corrected vision. Suddenly, it’s not you. It never should have been. It’s God in all His glory - the glory that we tried to steal from Him…yet he forgave us for it anyway.

Me-centered? Distorted vision, self-centeredness, selfishness, greed, sin?

Me think not.


You bet.

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This article has been read 1435 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sharon Singley08/11/06
LOVED it! Wonderfully written and oh, so true.
Sally Hanan08/11/06
Very well-written piece.
Jan Ross08/11/06
A wonderfully powerful devotional. I love it! Good work & God bless! :)
Cheryl Beckwith08/13/06
This is so true.Thanks for wording it so well.When we see things through our own eyes we are plagued with the desire to have the latest shiny toy but Jesus takes our face in His hand and lovingly directs our gaze towards Him and when we look into His eyes we just don't care about those things anymore.
Sara Harricharan 08/14/06
Wow! This was really neat! You did a great job of blending some very important 'stuff' into an easy-to-read-and-understand piece.
Rita Garcia08/14/06
"He-centered" Like this phrase a lot! Packed a powerful message in 750 words!! Great job!!
Lynda Lee Schab 08/15/06
Me-Centered? Nope. Never. Don't have a clue what you're talking about! Yeah, right! And I've never heard of Pinnochio either. LOL. Wonderfully written, even better message. Simply superb!
Jan Ackerson 08/15/06
Wonderful voice on this piece--so different from most devotionals. This is truly masterful wordsmithing.
Beth Muehlhausen08/15/06
Good exortation! Favorite line: "The question is…are we willing to divert our eyes for good or just pretend to do so once in a while for appearances sake?"

Ho hum....now what's MY answer?! :-)
T. F. Chezum08/15/06
Very well written and very true. Great job.
Joanne Sher 08/16/06
I love your tone here - and you pack a powerful punch. I especially liked the end (from "We can now look at the horizontal plank..." to the end). So much to think about!!
Trina Courtenay08/17/06
Congrats on placing!

May the Lord continue to guide your quill as you write to glorify HIM!
Rita Garcia08/17/06
CONGRATULATIONS! I am happy you won, I will remember your "He centered" phrase.
Sherry Wendling08/17/06
Congratulations, Joanne! I pray you are moved to submit this one to a devotional publication such as Reflections Magazine. It deserves a wide, wide audience!