Life isn't all about you

     Last year there was an uproar in the central California city of Modesto when a 41 year old high school teacher quit his job, left his wife and children, and moved in with an 18 year old student.  The mother of the daughter waged a battle to get her daughter back and it made news.  The 41 year old was interviewed by the Modesto Bee.  When asked about why he made the decision, the man said, "In  making our choice, we've hurt a lot of people.  We keep asking ourselves, 'Do we make everyone else happy, or do we follow our hearts?'"
    This is a refrain we hear over and over in our world.  Just follow your heart!   Most people view life, naturally, as if it's all about them.  The only thing that really matters in the grand scheme of things is that they are happy, full, and protected.  So the majority of their lives are spent in what we Americans call "the pursuit of happiness."  It is seen as the highest good.  We view every experience, every event in our world in only one way--how does it contribute to my pursuit of happiness?  
     Is this new law going to hinder my happiness?  Is this new circumstance  this new relationship, this new technology, this new philosophy, this new scientific finding, this new government going to affect my happiness-my world?  We see everything only in terms of how it will affect us.  As we get older we grow to also care about how these things will affect our descendants, but while we may bemoan and make noise about what's being done to others, it does not come close to approaching the level of concern we have if our own happiness is impinged upon.  
     In the beginning of the Nativity story we find a remarkably revolutionary idea: life is not primarily about us.  The Nativity story dares to suggest that in the grand scheme of things--only one things matters--and that is Him and your relationship with Him.  
     It is a startlingly exclusive and narrow idea for which an apology is not even attempted.  In fact it becomes clear that heaven, earth, and life itself exist for, and only for, the glory of this Jesus forever.  Luke is absolutely convinced that this one birth of this one child changes everything and everyone forever!  God willed it to be so.  God engineered it to be so.  God guaranteed it would be so.  
      It's all about Jesus, and that's why His birth was/is such a big deal.  He is God, Creator and Sustainer of the Universe come to rescue us from our separation from Him.  Life isn't about your job, or your success, or your reputation, or your accomplishments, or your self-esteem, or lack thereof, or your difficult background, or your many advantages.  It's not about governments or movements, or political parties, or scientific or technological advancements.  It's all about Him . If you want to finally find peace and fulfillment and joy (even as a Christian) you must join the triune God in His love relationship.  
     Most people live dreary boring lives, occasionally interrupted by happiness or excitement, or pain and sorrow, because life is all about them.  It's a recipe for misery.  Life is about Jesus!  That's the message of the Nativity, the message of God's entrance into our world.  
     You may think that life, and specifically your life is all about you.  The simple Christmas story says you couldn't be more wrong.  And frankly, when you come to terms with that, it's an incredibly freeing thought.  
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