You are not that important. Yes those are harsh words! Yet they are words many of our egos likely need to hear. I don’t mean that we should be hearing this from someone else. It is something we need to hear from within ourself when pride and selfishness are taking us where we ought not tread.
The Interior Life
You have probably heard of the interior life. It usually comes up in the topic of prayer. The reality is that every human being on the planet has an interior life regardless of whether they take time to pray. Your interior life is simply your inner thoughts or inner dialogue. ‘A penny for your thoughts’ pretty well sums it up. We often wonder what is going on in the interior life of those we are close to. For instance, I would love to know what goes on in the interior life of my 19 month old son, Luke.
When I evaluate the quality of my interior life it shouldn’t be all about me. It has room for another, and this is beyond special. The All Holy Trinity truly desires to share His life with us. Realizing God’s presence and cultivating that relationship inwardly is the most privileged thing a person can do. It is where the friendship that Jesus desires with us can flourish and blossom. God desires our hearts, a special place in our interior life reserved for Him. Unfortunately, our egos can shove our Lord completely out of the picture. He never forces His friendship on us, but patiently awaits for our yes. He wants us to love Him freely in return.
A Little Context Please
Back to the title of this post, ‘you are not that important.’ One way to keep your ego in check and make room for God is to realize when this statement is true. Before we get to that, go ahead and let your ego soak this up for a second (and yes you should pause so you can raise your inner voice when you read the words in all caps!) “Hey self, You are not THAT important. You are NOT that important. And finally…..”YOU ARE NOT THAT IMPORTANT!”
I would like to reiterate that we need to realize when we need to think this way. I’m not talking about your intrinsic worth. That is not ever in question. You are always important to God and to so many loved ones. Don’t ever forget that. But now consider when your ego and selfishness take over and it becomes all about you. These are the times where objectively admitting to yourself that you are not that important will in fact allow you to walk in God’s will and pursue the path of holiness. Here are two universal examples that should give you enough to make sense of all this not being important talk.
In a Hurry?
You are next in line at the grocery store and in a bit of a hurry. The person in front of you has been fumbling with their checkbook for 3 minutes. This is after the checkout person had to call their supervisor over to figure out how to work something on the register. I can only imagine what might be going on in my interior life at this moment. Well, guess what self, you are not that important. Listen to circumstances, invite God back in your interior life and have a conversation.
“Why do I think the world revolves around my schedule Lord? Have I forgotten in Your will is my peace?”
Not Getting Treated the Way You Deserve?
You have put in a lot of effort towards doing something for someone and they don’t acknowledge it. Perhaps it is even thrown back in your face. This could be at work or at home. Your interior life shoves God aside and the ego starts running wild. Thoughts like:
“Why even bother?””This is ridiculous.” “Why did I become a ______ in the first place?” “I have no time for this. I could be doing XYZ instead.” “How could this be what God has is in store for me?” “Why are they being like this?”
But wait, remember truth. The truth that all will be well, God has the matter in hand. We need fear nothing. St. Paul gives us one of the most reassuring promises in all of Scripture; “for those who love God all things work together for good.”
“Yes Lord, I again realize I am not that important. This is not about justice being served to me. Its not about me calling the shots and controlling the situation. You have a plan and I need to trust Your wisdom. What I just called ridiculous is what You can and will work out for good.”
Giving up my Kingdom
Awareness of who we are and who God is can save us from falling into a lot of sin. Its about patience and trust. Leaving the ego-drama behind (hey self, you are not that important) and entering the Theo-drama (God’s plan and will) opens us up to the abundant life Jesus wholeheartedly desires for each of us. We pray “Thy Kingdom Come” all the time. Can we live it when things don’t go our way? It implies that we give up the personal dominions we have created and submit to our Lord and His Kingdom.