“It's not about you”. This little phrase
found its way into other conversations we
would have, in dinner conversation, in working out at the gym together; Tom let me humble him on a regular basis. It became somewhat amusing until I disagreed with something someone was saying for whatever reason, and he turned to me and said, "Andy, it's not about you."
Lent begins our journey with Jesus as he marches to the cross, sacrificing his life for the sins of the world. In his own journey to the cross, Jesus consistently humbles himself—not to his own will, but to the will of his Father. Part of our journey into the Lenten season is to recognize our humility in the face of Jesus’ sacrifice. It's in the face of the Cross that we are reminded: "It's not about you."
“It's not about you” is Jesus' basic instruction about what it means to follow him. "If anyone wants to follow me, let them pick up their cross, die to themselves and follow me” (Matthew 16, Mark 8, Luke 9). It is this way because Jesus is always concerned about accomplishing God's will of salvation, rather than Jesus' own will for self preservation. This comes to an apex in the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus prays, "Lord, take this cup from me for I do not want it” (Matthew 26, Luke 22, Mark 14). Yet Jesus knows that this is not about him.
Lent is a gentle and sometimes not so gentle reminder to us that: It is not about you. This reminder comes in the form of ashes on our foreheads and practicing having our feet washed. It is a reminder that belonging to God and the Body of Christ, that is Christ's church, is not about getting our own way but about serving God and serving others. It is a reminder that God has bigger plans for all of us than just getting our way. It’s not about you. And my friend Tom will tell you that it is a lot easier to say those words, than hear them for yourself.